Researchers demonstrate how graphene can improve perovskite solar cells

Recent research has shown that the incorporation of graphene-related materials improves the performance and stability of perovskite solar cells. Graphene is hydrophobic, which can enhance several properties of perovskite solar cells. Firstly, it can enhance stability and the passivation of electron traps at the perovskite’s crystalline domain interfaces. Graphene can also provide better energy level alignment, leading to more efficient devices.

Improving Solar Cells with Pristine Graphene on Lead Iodide Films image

In a recent study, Spain-based scientists used pristine graphene to improve the properties of MAPbI3, a popular perovskite material. Pristine graphene was combined with the metal halide perovskite to form the active layer of the solar cells. By analyzing the resulting graphene/perovskite material, it was observed that an average efficiency value of 15% under high-stress conditions was achieved when the optimal amount of graphene was used.

Researchers use 'aerographene' to create controllable electrical explosions

An international research team, led by Germany's Kiel University (CAU) and including scientists from the University of Southern Denmark, Technische Universität Dresden, University of Trento, Sixonia Tech and Queen Mary University of London, has used aero-graphene to develop a new method for the generation of controllable electrical explosions. "Aerographene" consists of a finely-structured tubular network based on graphene with numerous cavities. This makes it extremely stable, conductive and almost as lightweight as air.

The research team has now taken a major step toward practical applications. They have succeeded in repeatedly heating and cooling aerographene and the air contained inside it to very high temperatures in an extremely short period of time. This enables extremely powerful pumps, compressed air applications or sterilizing air filters in miniature.

Researchers demonstrate Doppler effect and sonic boom in graphene devices

A team of researchers from universities in Loughborough, Nottingham, Manchester, Lancaster and Kansas (US) has revealed that sonic boom and Doppler-shifted sound waves can be created in a graphene transistor.

When a police car speeds past you with its siren blaring, you hear a distinct change in the frequency of the siren’s noise. This is the Doppler effect. When a jet aircraft’s speed exceeds the speed of sound (about 760 mph), the pressure it exerts upon the air produces a shock wave which can be heard as a loud supersonic boom or thunderclap. This is the Mach effect. The scientists discovered that a quantum mechanical version of these phenomena occurs in an electronic transistor made from high-purity graphene.

Researchers examine twisted bilayer graphene's intriguing interactions with light

In 'magic angle' graphene, especially near the angle of 1 degree, the electrons slow down dramatically, favoring interactions between the electrons. Such interactions give rise to a new type of superconductivity and insulating phases in twisted bilayer graphene. Along with many other fascinating properties discovered in the past three years, this material has proven to display extremely rich physical phenomena, but most importantly, it has shown to be an easily controllable quantum material. Up until now, the interaction between twisted bilayer graphene and light was shown to have fascinating outcomes on a theoretical level, but no experiment has so far been able to clearly show how this interaction works.

In a recent work, ICFO researchers Niels Hesp, Iacopo Torre, David Barcons-Ruiz and Hanan Herzig Sheinfux, led by ICREA Prof. at ICFO Frank Koppens, in collaboration with the research groups of Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero (MIT), Prof. Marco Polini (University of Pisa), Prof. Efthimios Kaxiras (Harvard), Prof. Dmitri Efetov (ICFO) and NIMS (Japan), have found that twisted bilayer graphene can be used to guide and control light at the nanometer scale. This is possible thanks to the interaction between light and the collective movement of the electrons in the material.

Scientists detect quantum anomalous Hall effect in bi-layer graphene

Scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas, along with colleagues in Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, have observed a rare phenomenon called the quantum anomalous Hall effect in bi-layer graphene. Previous experiments have detected it only in complex or delicate materials.

The quantum Hall effect is a macroscopic phenomenon in which the transverse resistance in a material changes by quantized values in a stepwise fashion. It occurs in two-dimensional electron systems at low temperatures and under strong magnetic fields. In the absence of an external magnetic field, however, a 2D system may spontaneously generate its own magnetic field, for example, through an orbital ferromagnetism that is produced by interactions among electrons. This behavior is called the quantum anomalous Hall effect.