Graphene recently hit the headlines as a potential replacement for silicon in a future world of molecular computing. However, until silicon technology has run its course and arrays of millions of transistors can be carved at will from this material, scientists will have to be content with investigating its properties and devising novel uses.
Nevertheless an international team led by scientists at MIT has turned the Raman spotlight on graphene and its chemical cousins to help them explain the materials’ unique physicochemical properties.
Mildred Dresselhaus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and colleagues there and at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Tohoku University and CREST, Sendai, Japan, point out that Raman spectroscopy has played an important historical role in understanding graphitic materials. Most usefully, Raman can reveal information about defects and stacking of graphene sheets. The team has now used Raman to look at the modern counterparts of these materials, nanographites and individual graphene molecules.
You can read the whole story in this week’s SpectroscopyNOW news round-up from David Bradley.