Team Graphenea has once again worked in close collaboration with research scientists and published another high-impact scientific paper. Our most recent publication, in last month's edition of Nature Physics, shows multiplication of electrons after light absorption by graphene. The work may prove important for future graphene-based solar cells. Amaia Zurutuza, Amaia Pesquera and Alba Centeno made the graphene for our collaborators at ICFO (Barcelona), MIT, and the Max Planck Institute for polymer physics.
Graphene absorbs light of all colors, ranging from the ultraviolet to far infrared. When graphene absorbs a photon, which is a particle of light, a conducting electron is created in the graphene. The electron is free to move and carry electricity. Such a photoabsorption process is the key process in solar cells and photodetectors.
Together with the world-renowned groups
of Koppens (ICFO), Levitov (MIT), and Bonn (Max Planck) we have shown that conducting
electrons in graphene multiply as they move, producing more
conducting electrons. Essentially, instead of losing energy to heat the
graphene crystal, which is what would happen in most other materials,
in graphene the electrons give their energy to promote other
electrons to the conduction band.
More conducting electrons could mean more electricity from light. The paper has already stirred the optics and energy communities, with wide press coverage. For example, optics.org, the hub of the photonics industry writes that "graphene multiplies the power of light", with extensive interviews with the ICFO team. Hydrogen Fuel News writes that "solar energy may break efficiency barriers with the help of graphene".
The project is a show of Graphenea's wide multinational scientific collaboration. The experiment was designed at ICFO in Barcelona, carried out at Amsterdam and Mainz (Max Planck), and the experimental findings explained in detail with the help of theoretical physicists from MIT. Graphenea remains the supplier of choice for high quality graphene to scientists worldwide.
It's not the first time that Graphenea publishes high level scientific papers. Last year, our graphene was featured in Nature, when we showed that graphene can support surface plasmons, essentially guiding light waves along the graphene sheet. In that case we also collaborated with the Koppens group, as well as with the group of Hillenbrand here at nanoGune, the parent institute that spun off Graphenea.
"We at Graphenea work to provide the best materials for the research community and the industry", says Jesus de la Fuente, our CEO. "Our close collaboration with research scientists at the cutting edge continues to bear fruit for both sides".
The graphene used in this work was monolayer CVD graphene, transferred to a quartz substrate. Graphenea grew the graphene and made the transfer. Our product catalogue offers CVD graphene on various substrates, as well as other types of graphene.