Graphyne may be better than graphene for electronic devices

February 28, 2012

The carbon lattice in this 6,6,12-graphyne has a rectangular symmetry, unlike the hexagonal symmetry of graphene (credit: D. Malko et al./Phys. Rev. Lett.)

Super-strong, highly conducting graphene is the hottest ticket in physics, but new computer simulations suggest that materials called graphynes could be just as impressive according to American Physical Society’s Physics.

Like graphene, graphynes are one-atom-thick sheets of carbon, but graphynes differ in that their 2D framework contains triple bonds in addition to double bonds.

These triple bonds open up a potentially limitless array of different geometries beyond the perfect hexagonal lattice of graphene, and may lead to new uses in electronic devices.

The big challenge now is to make large graphyne samples. “Organic chemists like myself can synthesize (often with difficulty) complex molecular subunits,” but these small sections of graphyne do not exhibit the expected properties of a large lattice,” says Michael Haley of the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Andre Geim of the University of Manchester, UK, who was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for his experimental work on graphene, says that graphyne is “an extremely interesting material, and this report adds to the excitement.”

Ref.: Daniel Malko et al., Competition for Graphene: Graphynes with Direction-Dependent Dirac Cones, Physical Review Letters, 2012 [DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.086804]