Carbon allotrope Graphene always remain in news for one and another reason. A new study has found that the defective or imperfect graphene can help in enhancing the efficiency of cells.
The study, which was conducted by the researchers at the North-western University, discovered that the flaws in graphene can help in breaking proton in few seconds. This process can further assist in the easy production of extremely thin membrane consisting single atom. In general terms, the process of production of thin sheet of protons using conventional methods is very complicated.
The Northwestern University researchers conducted the study in collaboration with the scientists of five other institutes.
The scientists call the ‘impossibly thin’ Graphene one of the wonderful materials of the 21st century. It can detect light in a much better way than any sensor.
The material is even stronger than steel and also highly flexible as well as better conductor of currents as compared to copper.
According to the scientists, graphene forms a beautiful honeycomb pattern in a pristine shape. One of the flaws in fuel cell technology separates protons from hydrogen.
With the use of water and single layer graphene, minor irregularities in the graphene enable the movement of protons from one side to the other.
The selectivity and speed of the imperfect graphene membrane provides a simpler as well as more efficient mechanism for fuel cell design.
In a statement, lead study researcher Franz M. Geiger said, “Imagine an electric car that charges in the same time it takes to fill a car with gas. Or better imagine an electric car that uses hydrogen as fuel, not fossil fuels or ethanol, and not electricity from the power grid, to charge a battery. Our glaring finding provides an electrochemical mechanism that could make these things possible one day.”
The team believed that graphene, which is a single layer one-atom thick, could help in the production of the thinnest photon channel of the world.
Geiger, a chemistry professor at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, said, “We discovered that if you just dial the graphene back a little on perfection, you will get the membrane you want. Everyone always strives to make really pristine graphene, but our data show if you want to get protons through, you need less perfect graphene.”
The findings of the study were published on March 17 by the journal Nature Communications.