Graphene in its purest form is a 2D material, but it can be converted to a 3D material with some additions that compromise its purity but can lead to some fascinating discoveries. A research team out of Tohoku University has amplified the electrical properties of 3D graphene by curving it in certain ways.
“Our research showed the conservation and the degradation of the ultra-low dissipative transport of Dirac electrons on the 3-D curved surface for the first time,” said Yoichi Tanabe, study’s lead author.
Graphite, like the kind commonly found in pencils, is made from stacking sheets of 2D graphene. The effect this has is robbing the material of its 2D electronic properties, something that’s worked around by separating the sheets with nano-scale air-filled pores, making it into a 3D structure.
The process of converting 2D graphene into 3D graphene introduces crystal defects and other issues that make it lose much of its desirable characteristics, according to Phys.org. Why the curved surface of the material reduces graphene’s conductivity is not fully understood, which is what the researchers intended to find out by creating 3D graphene with a bicontinuous and open porous structure from a single sheet of 2D graphene.