Rapidly rotating graphene is fastest-spinning macroscopic object ever

Sep 30, 2010 by Lisa Zyga weblog
Made of a single sheet of carbon atoms, graphene can be spun at the fastest rate of any known macroscopic object. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(PhysOrg.com) -- At 60 million rotations per minute, a two-dimensional sheet of graphene has become the fastest-spinning trapped macroscopic object ever. Graphene is known for its large strength, and it's this strength that enables the material to not be pulled apart into pieces when spun at such a high rate.

Physicist Bruce Kane of the University of Maryland in College Park has published his study on the spinning in a recent issue of Physical Review B. His main ambition was to measure and modify graphene by suspending micrometer-sized flakes of the material in an . As electric fields trapped and suspended the charged graphene flakes, Kane set up a circularly polarized light beam to transfer a large amount of to the flakes, causing them to spin at a very high rotation frequency.

“This high rotation frequency, facilitated by the ability of graphene to withstand centrifugal tension during rotation, is, to the author's knowledge, the largest ever measured for a macroscopic trapped object,” Kane wrote in a paper posted at arXiv.org.

Kane also explained that the graphene flakes are spinning at only one-thousandth of their theoretical maximum rate, which is calculated based on graphene's estimated strength. Modifying the experimental set-up could enable the graphene to be spun even faster.

As Kane explained in his study, graphene, which was discovered in 2004, is the first truly two-dimensional system, meaning that its electronic, mechanical, and are all determined by the structure of a single sheet of . Since placing graphene on a substrate can interfere with measuring its properties, this new method of levitating and spinning graphene could allow researchers to investigate, grow, and manipulate sheets of graphene with greater ease.

Explore further: Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells

More information: Bruce Kane. "Levitated spinning graphene flakes in an electric quadrupole ion trap." Phys. Rev. B 82, 115441 (2010). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevB.82.115441 . "Levitated Spinning Graphene." arXiv:1006.3774v1
via: Popular Science

Related Stories

Light-speed nanotech: Controlling the nature of graphene

Jan 21, 2009

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered a new method for controlling the nature of graphene, bringing academia and industry potentially one step closer to realizing the mass production ...

Highlight: Nanopatterning of Graphene

Mar 11, 2010

Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at Argonne National Laboratory users from Politecnico di Milano in Italy, working collaboratively with researchers in the Electronic & Magnetic Materials & Devices Group, ...

Seeing Moire in Graphene

Apr 27, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated that atomic scale moiré patterns, an interference pattern ...

Recommended for you

Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells

Jan 28, 2015

ETH researchers have developed a comprehensive model to explain how electrons flow inside new types of solar cells made of tiny crystals. The model allows for a better understanding of such cells and may ...

Researchers use oxides to flip graphene conductivity

Jan 26, 2015

Graphene, a one-atom thick lattice of carbon atoms, is often touted as a revolutionary material that will take the place of silicon at the heart of electronics. The unmatched speed at which it can move electrons, ...

Researchers make magnetic graphene

Jan 26, 2015

Graphene, a one-atom thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, has many desirable properties. Magnetism alas is not one of them. Magnetism can be induced in graphene by doping it with magnetic ...

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made

Jan 23, 2015

Theoretical physicists at Rice University are living on the edge as they study the astounding properties of graphene. In a new study, they figure out how researchers can fracture graphene nanoribbons to get ...

Nanotechnology changes behavior of materials

Jan 23, 2015

One of the reasons solar cells are not used more widely is cost—the materials used to make them most efficient are expensive. Engineers are exploring ways to print solar cells from inks, but the devices ...

User comments : 9

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sanescience
5 / 5 (1) Sep 30, 2010
That would make an interesting cutting blade...
Graeme
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
Why did Bruce do this?
balde
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
Any thoughts as to the magnetic properties of a charged piece of grpahene spinning as such incredible rates?
gmurphy
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
How big would the graphene piece have to be and how fast would it have to spin in order to see relativistic effects?, one of the predictions of relativity is that if you spin a disk fast enough, it'll start to curve so the outer rim won't exceed the speed of light.
Blicker
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
I wonder how much energy could be stored that way.
Arkaleus
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
This would seem to be the path to constructing very interesting configurations of very high molecular energy. Just imagine a phonon induced weak force generator based on pre-stressed crystal structures. Just think of a piezoelectric battery based on pre-stressed quartz made in this fashion.
Sanescience
not rated yet Oct 02, 2010
Energy storage!? Um, no. Not only dangerous if scaled up, but certainty not portable. What effect that much angular momentum would have boggles the mind.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Oct 02, 2010
Funny how an object of micrometer size is called macroscopic.
Which axis was it rotating around?
mertzj
not rated yet Oct 07, 2010
Did he count these rpms? or hook it up to an odometer? =P

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.