New Metamaterial Science: Graphene Superconductors and ‘Electroquantum’ Class

A new finding could allow the use of Graphene superconductors for solar power, nuclear reactors and high speed trains. Researchers found a way to pack the material even tighter by keeping it at a consistent temperature. Meanwhile, a new term is coined for metamaterials that deal with electricity and quantum physics.

Scientists from Linköping University in Sweden. Published their findings in Carbon and Nano Letters, their research elucidates how we could use cubic silicon carbide combined with graphene for the production of cleaner fuel. However, in order to accomplish that the required size of the composite needed to be many more layers in width and height than the original sample.

The problem is that each layer of Graphene tend to become uneven the more of them are stacked on top of eachother. In order to make proper use of this Graphene Silicon Carbide composite they need to learn how to straighten everything out so it is more suited for say, a solar cell.

“It is relatively easy to grow one layer of graphene on silicon carbide, but it’s a greater challenge to grow large-area uniform graphene that consists of several layers on top of each other,” said Jianwu Sun of the research team. “We have now shown that it is possible to grow uniform graphene that consists of up to four layers in a controlled manner.”

They found that by exposing this composite to a very specific and consistent temperature threshold that could illicit the sort of stable growth they were looking for. In so doing they’ve also discovered that Graphene Silicon Carbide can potentially be utilized as a superconductor – the most powerful form of electrified conductor that enables everything from particle collisions to nuclear fusion reactors.

“We discovered that multilayer graphene has extremely promising electrical properties that enable the material to be used as a superconductor, a material that conducts electrical current with zero electrical resistance,” Sun said.

Superconductors are at the core of most energy intensive human activities, from super-powerful laser beams to particle colliders, rocket engines and nuclear reactors. Notice how all of these take some part in advancing the frontier. In other words, creating a new form of superconducting material is the first step in extending the reach of humankind forward.

“This special property arises solely when the graphene layers are arranged in a special way relative to each other.

This would imply that the new graphene composite is a type of electron-quantum metamaterial or even just an ordinary metamaterial. Regardless both of them are characterized by a man-made rearrangement of pre-existing compounds in to new formations that somehow illicit a uniquely useful response in the material. Furthermore, superconducting graphene has also been verified in experimental tests suggesting that we may be able to use it for high speed trains, nuclear reactors and potentially many more of these diverse applications superconductors apply to.

Electron-quantum metamaterials are a new class of metamaterial recently coined in a scholarly paper by Justin C. W. Song & Nathaniel M. Gabor. They are known for their pwoerful electric properties that arise from the behavior of quantum mechanics. Scientists create an electronquantum metamaterial by working at the nano-scale, stacking and rotating differently layers of geometrically sound, compact material until they find some sort of “magic angle” that llicits what they call “emergent properties”. In other words – properties that can not be attributed to any single compound but the formation they take in a larger system.

For example the rotation of a grid composed of parallel lines always will create some kind of angular relationship between those lines based on the exact amount of circumference covered by said rotation, which we qualify as the amount of “degrees.” Scientists have discovered that if you rotate material layers composed of specific elements by a certain degree you can generate phenomena that would otherwise be considered impossible, like cloaking for example.

This happens in the case of carbon nanosheets, which of course graphene is made out of. Carbon is one of the most prolific elements found in metamaterial science, probably because of it’s propensity for natural crystal formation. Using these same principles you can essentially “tune” the material in to a superconductor, or insulator by adjusting the degree of rotation as well as how many layers are present

Though the term applies to light (electromagnetic) metamaterials they argue that electrons will play a greater role due to their increased ability to interact with one another as opposed to photons (single quanta of light)

as the article states” the result may be designer materials with not only optimal properties in terms of electronics and other applications, but perhaps new functions entirely”

Those “new functions” should not be understated and include such incredible things as cloaking, shapeshifting, quantum computers and quantum technology in general.



Graphene breakthrough brings us one step closer to cleaner fuels

Electron Quantum Metamaterials

Cover photo: Pixabay

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