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Scientists discover graphene heals itself

Scientists have discovered that the material graphene has the power to heal itself, opening up new possibilities for a number of future applications.

Scientists have discovered that the material graphene has the power to heal itself, opening up new possibilities for a number of future applications.

 
The material is made up of carbon sheets that are just a single atom in thickness, making them incredibly thin and very easy to damage. Yet their fragility also introduces a major strength, the ability to self-repair.
 
The discovery was made by scientists at the University of Manchester and SuperStem Laboratory of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in Daresbury, both in the UK. The co-discoverer of the material, Nobel Prize winner Konstantin Novoselov, was part of the research team.
 
 
Research on the flimsy sheets frequently produced holes, but the scientists were shocked to find that nearby atoms would snap into place to repair the breach. It did not matter if these were carbon, metal or hydrocarbon atoms – they all did the job at mending the material. However, pure carbon atom would push metal atoms out of the way to create an even more perfect repair job.
 
“We know how to connect small strips of graphene, to drill it, to tailor it, to sculpt it, and it now seems we might be able to grow it back in a reasonably controlled way,” said Dr. Quentin Ramasse, co-author of the study, published in Nano Letters.
 
It is not yet clear what this could be practically used for, but the possibilities are endless, as self-repairing material could be in used in almost any field.
 
Source: BBC
Image Credit: Quentin Ramasse

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