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Graphene nanoscrolls are formed by decoration of magnetic nanoparticles

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Posted August 16, 2013
Graphene nanoscrolls are formed by decoration of magnetic nanoparticles

Graphene nanoscrolls are formed by decoration of magnetic nanoparticles
After decoration with maghemite nanoparticles the graphene spontaneously form nanoscrolls. The dark cylinders in the upper part of the image shows graphene nanoscrolls that are covered with a smooth layer of small particles. The nanoscrolls form “bundles” with 5-10 cylinders due to the interaction between the nanoscrolls. The lower part of the image show a simulated image of a graphene sheet in the scrolling process. The region zoomed show a maghemite nanoparticle attached to the graphene sheet.

Researchers at Umea University, together with researchers at Uppsala University and Stockholm University, show in a new study how nitrogen doped graphene can be rolled into perfect Archimedean nano scrolls by adhering magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles on the surface of the graphene sheets. The new material may have very good properties for application as electrodes in for example Li-ion batteries.

Graphene is one of the most interesting materials for future applications in everything from high performance electronics, optical components to flexible and strong materials. Ordinary graphene consists of carbon sheets that are single or few atomic layers thick.

In the study the researchers have modified the graphene by replacing some of the carbon atoms by nitrogen atoms. By this method they obtain anchoring sites for the iron oxide nanoparticles that are decorated onto the graphene sheets in a solution process. In the decoration process one can control the type of iron oxide nanoparticles that are formed on the graphene surface, so that they either form so called hematite (the reddish form of iron oxide that often is found in nature) or maghemite, a less stable and more magnetic form of iron oxide.

“Interestingly we observed that when the graphene is decorated by maghemite, the graphene sheets spontaneously start to roll into perfect Archimedean nano scrolls, while when decorated by the less magnetic hematite nanoparticles the graphene remain as open sheets, says Thomas Wågberg, Senior lecturer at the Department of Physics at Umeå University.

Read more at: Phys.org

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