Prof Graham Cross and postdoctoral fellow Dr. James Annett of AMBER found that they can induce graphene, a sheet of the element carbon only one atom thick, to spontaneously assemble into ribbons and other shapes while lying on a surface.Their research was published in the prestigious journal Nature this week and introduces a significant new fabrication method for graphene, as well as creating new technologies that harness the properties of
these molecular sheets in ways not previously envisaged.
Graphene typically remains stable when resting on a substrate. The movie consists of a series of Atomic Force Microscopy images which were recorded over 2 weeks after the graphene sheet was perforated, which left small scale folded structures at the periphery of the perforation. These small scale structures spontaneously grew in size by microns. This behaviour is usually observed in liquids where surface forces dominate over cohesive forces leading to flow and reconfiguration due to thermodynamic forces. Here we see that graphene, a solid state material, can undergo similar spontaneous reconfiguration whereby instead of liquid flow, the solid reconfigures by sliding peeling and fracture.
An AMBER (the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre, hosted in Trinity College Dublin) researcher, Prof. Valeria Nicolosi, has been announced as a recipient of the European Research Council’s (ERC) Consolidator Grants. The ‘ERC Consolidator Grant’ is one of the most sought-after competitive research grants in Europe and will provide Prof. Nicolosi with €2.5 million in funding over 5 years for her project “3D2DPrint”. The project focuses on creating a new type of extremely long lasting battery – one that can come in any shape or size and can be camouflaged within any type of material - whether that’s clothing, your mobile phone, your car dashboard or even implanted inside your body (e.g. for an Implanted Cardiac Device). This funding will enable her to establish a multidisciplinary research group to develop this unique class of energy storage devices. Prof. Valeria Nicolosi is Ireland’s only four-time ERC awardee, and has been awarded over €11million in funding for her research in the past 5 years at Trinity.
AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland funded materials science centre, hosted in Trinity
College Dublin, has created the world’s smallest nano statuette in celebration
of all of the great Irish talent nominated for this year’s Oscars. As Ireland
continues to grow its international reputation for excellent science and
research, AMBER wanted to recognise another area which is growing Ireland’s
international reputation in excellence – the Oscars!
The width of the
nano statuette’s head is approximately 25 nanometres or 20,000 times smaller
than the width of a full stop. This is in comparison to the actual Oscar
statuettes given out on the night, which stand approximately 35cm tall and also
weigh over 3.5kg.
EngAGE with Science is an intergenerational 8‐week programme, which took place at the end of 2015. 5th class students from St Brigid’s school on Haddington Road, Dublin worked with older people from St Andrew’s Resource Centre, Pearse Street to learn about nano and materials science, using the AMBER NanoWOW curriculum. There were exchange visits between the school, St Andrew’s and AMBER at Trinity. A key project partner wasTrinity EngAGE, the Centre for Research on Ageing. The programme was funded through Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover programme.