Carbon nanoparticles

Carbon is a Block P, Period 2, nonmetallic element. It is the sixth most abundantly available element in the universe, and is commonly obtained from coal deposits. It is the second most abundant element by mass in the human body after oxygen.

The three naturally occurring allotropes of carbon are graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon. The morphology of carbon nanoparticles is spherical, and they appear as a black powder. Carbon nanoparticles can be surface functionalized, with organic molecules or polymers chemically bound to the particle surface.

Pure carbon has very low level of toxicity to humans. However, inhalation of coal dust or soot in large quantities can be dangerous, and can cause irritation of lung tissues and a congestive lung disease called pneumoconiosis.

  • A Transistor of Graphene Nanoribbons

    The microscopic ribbons lie criss-crossed on the gold substrate. Empa

    Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications." Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the nanoelectronics of the future:

  • Carbon Nanotubes Couple Light and Matter

    The formation of exciton-polaritons through strong light-matter coupling is a promising strategy for producing electrically pumped carbon-based lasers. Scientists from Heidelberg University and the University of St Andrews (Scotland) have now, for the first time, demonstrated this strong light-matter coupling in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Figure: Arko Graf (Heidelberg University)

    Scientists from Heidelberg and St Andrews work on the basics of new light sources from organic semiconductors. With their research on nanomaterials for optoelectronics, scientists from Heidelberg University and the University of St Andrews (Scotland) have succeeded for the first time to demonstrate a strong interaction of light and matter in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Such strong light-matter coupling is an important step towards realising new light sources, such as electrically pumped lasers based on organic semiconductors. They would be, amongst other things, important for applications in telecommunications. These results are the outcome of a cooperation between Prof. Dr Jana Zaumseil (Heidelberg) and Prof. Dr Malte Gather (St Andrews), and have been published in “Nature Communications”.

  • 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.

  • Foldable Like an Accordion: International Research Team Bends Individual Nanostructures

    Materials scientists Yogendra Kumar Mishra and doctoral researcher Daria Smazna. Photo/credit: Siekmann/CAU

    Since a research group at Kiel University (CAU) and the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in Hamburg-Harburg has developed aerographite – one of the most light weight materials in the world – in the year 2012 -, they have continued researching about it. Its complex tetrapodal architecture gives the carbon-based 3D material very unique properties, such as extremely high elasticity and electrical conductivity. Now, for the first time, as part of an international research team, materials scientists from the CAU were able to fold the individual hollow tetrapods, each measuring only a few micrometers in size.

  • Generation of a Stable Biradical

    A conventional boron-boron double bond (left) and its extremely stable biradical relative.

    The world of chemistry has witnessed another step forward: researchers at the University of Würzburg in Germany have succeeded in twisting molecules so much that their double bonds have been completely destroyed. The result: unusually stable biradicals. Boron has a range of uses throughout everyday life, from laundry bleaches to heat-proof glass and ceramics.

  • Molecular Lego for nanoelectronics

    Simulation result for formation of inversion channel (electron density) and attainment of threshold voltage (IV) in a nanowire MOSFET. Note that the threshold voltage for this device lies around 0.45V. © By Saumitra R Mehrotra & Gerhard Klimeck, modified by Zephyris - Own work

    The ability to assemble electronic building blocks consisting of individual molecules is an important objective in nanotechnology. An interdisciplinary research group at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is now significantly closer to achieving this goal. The team of researchers headed by Prof. Dr. Sabine Maier, Prof. Dr. Milan Kivala and Prof. Dr. Andreas Görling has successfully assembled and tested conductors and networks made up of individual, newly developed building block molecules. These could in future serve as the basis of components for optoelectronic systems, such as flexible flat screens or sensors.

  • Nanostructures Made of Pure Gold

    Nanostructure made of gold.

    It is the Philosopher’s Stone of Nanotechnology: using a technological trick, scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have succeeded in creating nanostructures made of pure gold.The idea is reminiscent of the ancient alchemists’ attempts to create gold from worthless substances: Researchers from TU Wien (Vienna) have discovered a novel way to fabricate pure gold nanostructures using an additive direct-write lithography technique. An electron beam is used to turn an auriferous organic compound into pure gold. This new technique can now be used to create nanostructures, which are needed for many applications in electronics and sensor technology. Just like with a 3D-printer on the nanoscale, almost arbitrary shapes can be created.

  • Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

    Extruded spiral made of polymer-coated silicon-nanosheets glowing in UV light. Photo: Tobias Helbich / TUM

    Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.