Potentially Making Graphene a Superconductor
When a new material is discovered, researchers work to determine its many properties, hoping to find something special. One such special property would be the ability to be made into a superconductor and transmit an electrical current without resistance. Researchers at the University of Vienna and other institutions have recently come up with a plan that may make graphene into a superconductor.
Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon and was first discovered in 2004. Since then researchers have been studying it, trying to uncover its many characteristics and find ways to apply them. It is already very strong, light, and has extraordinary conductive properties, but it is not a superconductor. Other forms of carbon have been made into superconductors though, so the researchers worked at it and found that it should be possible to dope graphene with enough calcium atoms to induce superconductivity at about 1.5 K.
At such a low temperature, a graphene-based superconductor is not going to have much practical use. However, because of graphene's two-dimensional structure, it can be easily manipulated. As such, a graphene-based superconductor could be used as a tool to better study superconductivity, and perhaps help reproduce it in other materials.
Source: University of Vienna