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A closer look at Samsung’s new graphene breakthrough: The holy grail of commercial graphene production? Samsung appears to have stumbled across the holy grail of commercial graphene production: A new technique that can grow high-quality single-crystal graphene on silicon wafers – graphene that is suitable for the production of graphene field-effect transistors (GFETs) – and afterward, once the graphene has been peeled off, the silicon wafers can even be reused! Samsung is dressing this up as a breakthrough for flexible, wearable computers – which is fair enough, given the company's recent focus on curved smartphones and watches. This work, carried out by the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, is rather advanced – so stick with me while I try to explain it. Basically, they start with a normal silicon wafer. The wafer is then placed into furnace, where fairly normal chemical vapour deposition (CVD) is used to deposit a layer of graphene on top of the H-terminated Ge.

(The above image shows graphene growing on H-terminated germanium. Will 2-D tin be the next super material? A single layer of tin atoms could be the world's first material to conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at the temperatures that computer chips operate, according to a team of theoretical physicists led by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. Researchers call the new material "stanene," combining the Latin name for tin (stannum) with the suffix used in graphene, another single-layer material whose novel electrical properties hold promise for a wide range of applications.

"Stanene could increase the speed and lower the power needs of future generations of computer chips, if our prediction is confirmed by experiments that are underway in several laboratories around the world," said the team leader, Shoucheng Zhang, a physics professor at Stanford and the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES), a joint institute with SLAC. The Path to Stanene Ultimately a Substitute for Silicon? How organic magnets grow in a thin film. (Phys.org) —Development of organic single molecule magnets opens a great many of applications for magnetic materials and new memory technologies.

Organic magnets are lighter, more flexible and less energy intensive in production than conventional magnets. Scientists from the laboratory of Dr. Benedetta Casu and Professor Thomas Chassé at the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry of the University of Tübingen have established together with colleagues of the University of Florence a first step on the road to new applications for organic magnets: Their controlled deposition in a thin film. Purely organic magnets are chemical compounds based on carbon, they are not comprised of classic magnetic elements like iron. To be precise, these organic compounds are paramagnetic, exhibiting their magnetic character only as long as they are near a magnetic field. Explore further: Microgel-based thermoresponsive membranes for water filtration. Evidence of magnetic superatoms could open doors to new spin electronics. (Phys.org) —Scientists have found evidence for the existence of magnetic superatoms—small, compact clusters of atoms whose electrons occupy a set of orbitals around the entire cluster rather than around the individual atoms.

If scientists can synthesize superatoms with magnetic properties, then one day they may use them to create new spin-dependent electronics. The researchers, Xinxing Zhang, et al., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; Universitaet Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany; and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, have published their findings on magnetic superatoms in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. To find evidence for the existence of stable, magnetic superatoms, the researchers probed the superatoms' orbitals, ground states, spin properties, and magnetic properties using first principles calculations and spectroscopy experiments. Explore further: Imaging turns a corner More information: Xinxing Zhang, et al. Artificially-engineered material pushes the bounds of superconductivity. A multi-university team of researchers has artificially engineered a unique multilayer material that could lead to breakthroughs in both superconductivity research and in real-world applications.

The researchers can tailor the material, which seamlessly alternates between metal and oxide layers, to achieve extraordinary superconducting properties—in particular, the ability to transport much more electrical current than non-engineered materials. The team includes experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Florida State University and the University of Michigan. Led by Chang-Beom Eom, the Harvey D. Spangler Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering and physics at UW-Madison, the group described its breakthrough March 3, 2013, in the advance online edition of the journal Nature Materials. Superconductors, which presently operate only under extremely cold conditions, transport energy very efficiently.

The new material also has improved current-carrying capabilities. Lab-made supermaterial that could boost computing exists in nature too. Am. Chem. Soc. Like some advanced artificial materials, kawazulite conducts electricity at its surface but not in its bulk. They say it’s what is on the inside that counts. Their findings could boost efforts to build spintronic devices — in which currents are driven by an intrinsic property of electrons called spin, rather than by voltages.

Predicted to exist in 20052, topological insulators were first synthesized from heavy elements in 20083. But at the material’s edge, the electrons do not have enough space for this circling motion; instead, they are forced to hop along the surface in semicircular jumps, enabling conduction. The thin conducting layer of a topological insulator makes it relatively easy for physicists to manipulate the spin current. Physicists attempting to construct quantum computers that would outperform the best current machines are also interested in encoding information in electron spins, rather than whether a current is on or off. Breaking the final barrier: Room-temperature electrically powered nanolasers. (Phys.org) —A breakthrough in nanolaser technology has been made by Arizona State University researchers. Electrically powered nano-scale lasers have been able to operate effectively only in cold temperatures. Researchers in the field have been striving to enable them to perform reliably at room temperature, a step that would pave the way for their use in a variety of practical applications.

Details of how ASU researchers made that leap are published in a recent issue of the research journal Optics Express (Vol. 21, No. 4, 4728 2013). The research team is led by Cun-Zheng Ning, an electrical engineering professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, one of ASU's Ira A Fulton Schools of Engineering.

He has been among engineers and scientists across the world attempting to fabricate a workable nanolaser with a volume smaller than its wavelength cubed – an intermediate step toward further miniaturization of lasers. Significant impacts Show-stopping advance. The Future of Electronics is Just One Single Molecule Thick. Where electronics are concerned, the future is two-dimensional and very, very thin. One molecule thin, to be exact. That's not quite as thin as a sheet of graphene, but new research from MIT shows that while one-atom-thick graphene shows exceptional strength and other novel properties, the future of electronics lies with materials like molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) that are a couple of atoms thicker but much, much easier to work with.

MoS2 isn't a new material by any means--it's been used as an industrial lubricant for decades--but in its 2-D form it is one of the newest and most exciting materials that electronics researchers and materials scientists have to work with. A Swiss team described its 2-D potential for the first time just last year, and now a team of MIT researchers have developed a range of very small electronic components from MoS2, components that open the door to a range of applications.

The primary factor here is bandgap, which graphene does not possess. [MIT News] Plastic light bulbs have all the benefits of LEDs, none of the downsides. Scientists at the Wake Forest University have created a new type of light bulb that promises to be just as efficient as LED equivalents, but without any of the drawbacks. The new field-induced polymer electroluminescent bulbs — FIPEL for short — produce light when an electric current is passed through the nano-engineered plastic layers.

The team says that the new type of bulbs are malleable, allowing them to take any shape like compact fluorescent lamps. They also won’t shatter like traditional bulbs, nor will they generate the same hum or flicker. The inventor of FIPEL, Dr David Carroll, believes that the new solution is superior to LED bulbs: "There's a limit to how much brightness you can get out of them. Graphene towers promise 'flexi-electronics' L.

Qiu, Monash University The graphene towers' honeycomb structure gives it super-strength and resilience. It can support 50,000 times its own weight, springs back into shape after being compressed by up to 80% and has a density much lower than most comparable metal-based materials. A new superelastic, three-dimensional form of graphene can even conduct electricity, paving the way for flexible electronics, researchers say. The team, led by Dan Li, a materials engineer at Monash University in Clayton, Australia, coaxed 1-centimetre-high graphene blocks or 'monoliths' from tiny flakes of graphene oxide, using ice crystals as templates. Graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon that was first isolated less than a decade ago, has exceptional mechanical strength and electrical conductivity, but making use of these properties means first finding ways to scale up from nano-sized flakes (see ‘Graphene spun into metre-long fibres’).

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