How Graphene Allows Simultaneous Insulation and Conduction

 

 

Conventional Physics dictates that any material can either be a conductor or an insulator — where the former reflects or radiates it while the latter absorbs but can’t exhibit both properties. When we need to keep things cool, we use thermally conductive materials like electrical components in a computer. On the other hand, when we need to trap the heat, we use insulative material.

Although not a metal, graphene conducts electricity at ultrahigh speeds, better than most metals.

These are not the only properties though — back in 2018, researchers at MIT discovered that when graphene layers are stacked on top of each other, their electrical properties change. They figured that when two sheets of graphene were stacked together at a “magic angle” of 1.1 degrees, it could act as an insulator or a superconductor at the same time. This monumental discovery helped launch a new field known as “twistronics” — the study of electronic behavior in twisted graphene and other materials.

While still in the early stages, the potential uses of this dual property material are nearly unlimited.  Stay tuned!


This is an extract of Faisal Khan's article. You can find the full version HERE.

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