Researchers have found a way to grow and transfer crystals of graphene more efficiently compared with other methods.
Pure graphene comprises one-atom-thick sheets of carbon that have desirable electronic properties, and is best made by stripping a single layer of atoms off a graphite crystal. However, the process is hard to scale up for industrial use and other, more scaleable methods introduce contaminants. So Christoph Stampfer at RWTH Aachen University in Germany and his colleagues synthesized a layer of graphene on copper, and used a compound called hexagonal boron nitride to peel the graphene off and transfer it to another substrate. This yielded crystals with fewer flaws than those made using other techniques, and the copper could be used again to produce more graphene.
The resulting material has electronic properties that rival the best graphene made by other, less scaleable methods, the authors report.