Graphene is simply said a thin layer of pure carbon. Graphene sheets are single layers of graphite with a uniform honeycomb-like structure. Graphene has outstanding mechanical and electrical properties and can be functionalised very easily, this is what makes it valuable in many application fields.

Examples: promising material for spintronics & new electronic applications; surface treatments; raw material for other carbon based nanomaterials.

  • A Materials Scientist’s Dream Come True

    Christian Dolle, Peter Schweizer und Prof. Dr. Erdmann Spiecker (von links nach rechts) beim anipulieren von Versetzungen an ihrer Nano-Werkbank, einem erweiterten Elektronenmikroskop. Mingjian Wu

    In the 1940s, scientists first explained how materials can deform plastically by atomic-scale line defects called dislocations. These defects can be understood as tiny carpet folds that can move one part of a material relative to the other without spending a lot of energy. Many technical applications are based on this fundamental process, such as forging, but we also rely on the power of dislocations in our everyday life: in the crumple zone of cars dislocations protect lives by transforming energy into plastic deformation. FAU researchers have now found a way of manipulating individual dislocations directly on the atomic scale – a feat only dreamt of by materials scientists.

  • Applications of Graphene

    Application of Graphene

    In order to get introduced to Graphene, a good point of start would be Graphite. Graphite is a naturally-occurring form of crystalline carbon. It is a native element mineral found in metamorphic and igneous rocks. Regarding its composition, Graphite is a stack of carbon-atom layers.

  • Biological Risk Potential of Nanoparticles Studied

    Two CD34+ stem cells containing carbon nanoparticles (coloured magenta); the cell nuclei can be seen in blue. The researchers found that the nanoparticles are encapsulated in the cell lysosomes. HHU / Stefan Fasbender

    Publication in Scientific Reports

    Carbon nanoparticles are a promising tool for biomedical applications, for example for targeted transportation of biologically active compounds into cells. A team of researchers from the Physics, Medicine and Chemistry departments at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has now examined whether these particles are potentially dangerous for the organism and how cells cope with them once they have been incorporated. The findings of the interdisciplinary study have just been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

  • Breakthrough in Graphene Research

    Different patterns are formed at the edges of nanographene. Zigzags are particularly interesting but unstable. FAU researchers have succeeded in creating stable layers of carbon with this pattern. Image: FAU/Konstantin Amsharov

    Graphene is a promising material for use in nanoelectronics. Its electronic properties depend greatly, however, on how the edges of the carbon layer are formed. Zigzag patterns are particularly interesting in this respect, but until now it has been virtually impossible to create edges with a pattern like this. Chemists and physicists at FAU have now succeeded in producing stable nanographene with a zigzag edge. Not only that, the method they used was even comparatively simple.

  • Decoupled Graphene Thanks to Potassium Bromide

    Potassium bromide molecules (pink) arrange themselves between the copper substrate (yellow) and the graphene layer (gray). This brings about electrical decoupling. © Department of Physics, University of Basel

    The use of potassium bromide in the production of graphene on a copper surface can lead to better results. When potassium bromide molecules arrange themselves between graphene and copper, it results in electronic decoupling. This alters the electrical properties of the graphene produced, bringing them closer to pure graphene, as reported by physicists from the universities of Basel, Modena and Munich in the journal ACS Nano.

  • Easy Printing of Biosensors Made of Graphene

    Endless film with printed biosensors: Fraunhofer has developed a convenient roll-to-roll process. Fraunhofer IBMT

    Cell-based biosensors can simulate the effect of various substances, such as drugs, on the human body in the laboratory. Depending on the measuring principle, though, producing them can be expensive. As a result, they are often not used. Cost factors for sensors that perform measurements electrically are the expensive electrode material and complex production. Fraunhofer scientists are now producing biosensors with graphene electrodes cheaply and simply in roll-to-roll printing. A system prototype for mass production already exists.

  • Effect of humidity on graphene sensors demistified

    Humidity effect on graphene doping.

    Graphene produced with chemical vapor deposition (CVD) will form the cornerstone of future graphene-based chemical, biological, and other types of sensors. Graphene, however, is extremely sensitive to air, in particular to humidity. To avoid unwanted background coming from humidity and to calibrate future sensors, it is highly important to investigate the mechanisms by which water (in the form of environmental humidity) affects graphene sheets.

  • Effektive Graphendotierung abhängig von Trägermaterial

    Jülich, 29. März 2016 – Jülicher Physikerinnen und Physiker haben unerwartete Effekte in dotiertem, das heißt mit Fremdatomen versetztem, Graphen entdeckt. Sie untersuchten mit Stickstoff – als Fremdatom – angereicherte Proben der Kohlenstoffverbindung auf unterschiedlichen Trägermaterialen. Ungewollte Wechselwirkungen mit diesen Substraten können die elektrischen Eigenschaften des Graphens beeinflussen. Jetzt haben die Forscher des Peter-Grünberg-Instituts gezeigt, dass auch die effektive Dotierung von der Wahl des Trägermaterials abhängt. Ihre Ergebnisse wurden nun in der Fachzeitschrift Physical Review Letters veröffentlicht.

  • Ein Nanographen mit Hunger auf Elektronen

    Im Herbst 2015 hat das Graduiertenkolleg „Molekulare Biradikale“ seine Arbeit an der Uni Würzburg aufgenommen. Jetzt liegt ein erstes Ergebnis dieser Zusammenarbeit von Chemikern und Physikern vor: eine Publikation über ein neues Molekül, das für die organische Elektronik interessant ist.

  • Electron Correlations in Carbon Nanostructures

    The graphene nanoribbon (center) consists of a single layer of honeycomb carbon atom and has different electrical properties depending on its shape and width. Jan-Philip Joost, AG Bonitz


    New materials are needed to further reduce the size of electronic components and thus make devices such as laptops and smartphones faster and more efficient. Tiny nanostructures of the novel material graphene are promising in this respect. Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms and, among other things, has a very high electrical conductivity. However, the extreme spatial confinement in such nanostructures influences strongly their electronic properties. A team led by Professor Michael Bonitz of the Institute for Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics (ITAP) at Kiel University has now succeeded in simulating the detailed behavior of electrons in these special nanostructures using an elaborate computational model. This knowledge is crucial for the potential use of graphene nanostructures in electronic devices.

  • Electronic Highways on the Nanoscale

    In the Laboratory a structured silicon carbide crystal is heated in a preparation chamber of a scanning tunneling microscope, so that small graphene structures can be formed. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Jacob Müller

    For the first time, the targeted functionalization of carbon-based nanostructures allows the direct mapping of current paths, thereby paving the way for novel quantum devices. Computers are getting faster and increasingly powerful. However, at the same time computing requires noticeably more energy, which is almost completely converted to wasted heat. This is not only harmful to the environment, but also limits further miniaturization of electronic components and increase of clock rates. A way out of this dilemma are conductors with no electrical resistance.

  • Faster, More Precise, More Stable: Study Optimizes Graphene Growth

    Visible to the naked eye: A wafer-thin graphene flake obtained via chemical vapor deposition. The red coloration of the copper substrate appears when the sample is heated in air. (Photo: J. Kraus/ TUM)

    Each atomic layer thin, tear-resistant, and stable. Graphene is seen as the material of the future. It is ideal for e.g. producing ultra-light electronics or highly stable mechanical components. But the wafer-thin carbon layers are difficult to produce. At the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Jürgen Kraus has manufactured self-supporting graphene membranes, and at the same time systematically investigated and optimized the growth of the graphene crystals. He was awarded the Evonik Research Prize for his work.

  • Fine Felted Nanotubes: CAU Research Team Develops New Composite Material Made of Carbon Nanotubes

    In this new process, the tiny, thread-like carbon nanotubes (CNTs) arrange themselves - almost like felting - to form a stable, tear-resistant layer. Fabian Schütt

    Due to their unique properties, carbon nanotubes would be ideal for numerous applications, from ultra-lightweight batteries to high-performance plastics, right through to medical implants. But they either cannot be combined adequately with other materials, or they then lose their beneficial properties. Scientists from Kiel University and the University of Trento have now developed an alternative combining method, so that they retain their characteristic properties. As such, they "felt" the thread-like tubes into a stable 3D network that is able to withstand extreme forces. The research results have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

  • Fraunhofer HHI at FOE

    Location of Terahertz waves in the electromagnetic spectrum.

    At this year’s Photonics West Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI presents its latest developments in Photonic Components, Systems and Networks.

    Photonics West is the world's largest photonics technologies event. Every year over 20,000 people come to hear the latest research and find the latest devices and systems driving technology markets including state-of-the art medical technologies, the Internet of things, smart manufacturing and “Industry 4.0,” autonomous vehicles, scientific research, communications, displays, and other solutions powered by photonics.

  • Graphen fehlerfrei losgelöst von Graphit

    Graphen fehlerfrei losgelöst von Graphit | Chemische Herstellung von Graphen: Das Lösungsmittel Benzonitril (grauer Kreis) nimmt die Verursacher von möglichen Defekten auf und färbt sich rot – es entsteht defektfreies Graphen (roter Kreis). Abbildung: FAU/Philipp Vecera

    Graphen gilt als eines der vielversprechendsten neuen Materialien. Es defektfrei und kostengünstig herzustellen, ist für Wissenschaftler weltweit jedoch nach wie vor eine große Herausforderung. Chemikern der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) ist es nun erstmals gelungen, defektfreies Graphen direkt aus Graphit herzustellen. Ihre Ergebnisse hat die Arbeitsgruppe im renommierten Fachmagazin „Nature Communications“ veröffentlicht (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12411).

  • Graphen-Nanobänder: Auf die Ränder kommt es an

    Wie die Fachzeitschrift «Nature» in ihrer aktuellen Ausgabe berichtet, ist es Forschern der Empa, des Max-Planck-Instituts in Mainz und der TU Dresden erstmals gelungen, aus Molekülen Graphen-Nanobänder mit perfektem Zickzackrand herzustellen. Die Atome der Ränder verfügen über Elektronen mit unterschiedlichem (und gekoppeltem) Drehsinn («Spin»). Dieser könnte Graphen-Nanobänder zum Werkstoff der Wahl für eine Elektronik der Zukunft machen, die so genannte Spintronik.

  • Graphene aids optical study of dye molecules

    Graphene aids optical study of dye molecules | Figure: Regular arrangements of dye molecules on graphene. Top: The particular dye molecule used in the study. Image reproduced from original publication.

    By using graphene as substrate, dye molecules self-assemble and form monolayers of high regularity. This increases their optical properties significantly.

  • Graphene electrodes offer new functionalities in molecular electronic nanodevices

    Molecules covalently attached to graphene are ideal candidates for electronic devices.  © Alexander Rudnev, University of Bern

    An international team of researchers led by the University of Bern and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has revealed a new way to tune the functionality of next-generation molecular electronic devices using graphene. The results could be exploited to develop smaller, higher-performance devices for use in a range of applications including molecular sensing, flexible electronics, and energy conversion and storage, as well as robust measurement setups for resistance standards.

  • Graphene Enables Clock Rates in the Terahertz Range

    Graphene converts electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. Juniks/HZDR

    Graphene is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range – which correspond to today’s clock rates – extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal “Nature”.

  • How a FAU researcher disassembles molecules

    Prof.Dr. Andreas Hirsch, holder of the Chair of Organic Chemistry II at FAU, has received an ERC Advanced Grant for the second time. FAU/Boris Mijat

    The EU is granting the chemist Andreas Hirsch of Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) 2.49 million euros to conduct research into black phosphorus on the molecular level. The holder of the Chair of Organic Chemistry II at FAU aims to develop new areas for its application, for instance in the fields of electrical energy storage and solar cells. It could make batteries last longer or enable solar cells to produce more electrical energy. This is the second ERC Advanced Grant to be approved for a research project headed by Hirsch. That makes him the first FAU researcher to achieve this feat.