OVERVIEW: Fundamental Properties and Applications of Graphene and other two-dimensional Materials, MAD2D-CM, S2013/MIT-3007

The isolation and characterization of Graphene from 2004 has marked a very important milestone in many areas of science and technology, opening lines of research non-existent earlier, such as the study of two-dimensional materials with atomic thickness and the formation of hybrid structures apart from them. Graphene research complements and amplifies the study of other based on carbon derivated materials, such as Fullerenes, that today we consider Graphene with spherical geometry, and nanotubes of carbon, Graphene with cylindrical geometry.

From a point of view of basic research, Graphene implies the possibility to study and manipulate layers of thickness equal to one only of the atoms that constitute them. Graphene also has many very special properties, such as the ability to vary over a wide range, the number of charge carriers, their extreme rigidity, being very stable and little reactive and the absence of defects. In MAD2D-CM project we investigating the properties of Graphene and other two-dimensional materials, with emphasis on applications in the development of devices, and storage and power generation. The project will be developed by teams of five public institutions, CSIC, IMDEA Nanoscience, IMDEA Materials, IMDEA Energy and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, and laboratories of the AIRBUS Operations, REPSOL, BRUKER, Nanoinnova Technologies and Albufera Energy Storage companies. The experience of the equipment ranges from basic research to industrial development. It is expected that the project will lead to advances in impact on the basic knowledge of Graphene and other two-dimensional materials, as well as the development of applications of industrial interest in the areas of energy and sensors design.

The bi-dimensional geometry of Graphene, its rigidity, stability, and the wide range of existing materials between Graphene and graphite, amorphous carbon, will make possible the application of Graphene and its derivatives in many areas. Due to its versatility and diversity of applications, Graphene and their derivatives are compared with plastics. Between monotomic Graphene layer and three-dimensional graphite there are many intermediate varieties, with different properties and production costs, which makes each one of these varieties in the optimal material for a specific application. Fundamental studies of Graphene are performed on the most pristine systems made up of very few layers (on the order of 12 layers) and "synthesized" by mechanical exfoliation and epitaxial growth. However are the synthesized graphenes via chemical peel and CVD the most demanded applications of energy storage and composites with improved mechanical properties, which are the applications of our interest in this proposal. Different varieties of Graphene are being applied to the manufacture of sensors, batteries, photovoltaic cells, electronic circuits, reinforcement of structures in Aeronautics and a wide field of research. A number of these different forms of Graphene, in order to advance in the most fundamental aspects of two-dimensional systems and their application in the context of the airline industry and renewable energy will be developed in this proposal.

The study of Graphene has led, moreover, to the investigation of other materials with similar structure, two-dimensional, robust, and electronic properties of interest, such as MoS2 and WS2 and other dicalcogenures as the BN. In these materials, as in Graphene, you can reach sheets of molecular width, which can be manipulated with similar ease. It is expected to the combination of several of these materials in the future design "à la carte" of metamaterials, designed with a precision of one or a few nanometers, with specific properties. Experiments have focused to date on the basic characterization of these materials and developing devices multilayer pretty handcrafted construction with application both in electronic and in photovoltaic and fundamental studies on them is still very little developed. This proposal extends the fundamental studies of Graphene to other still unexplored systems such as the dicalcogenures and isomer. Research into Graphene is now one of the most interdisciplinary topics in science and technology. The scientific literature on Graphene includes works of fundamental physics applications in engineering, biotechnology and multiple scientific disciplines. The project combines the study of fundamental aspects of Graphene with the development of applications in fields where the scientific community and the goals of various industries of the community of Madrid are complemented.

Key words: Graphene


1) Basic properties of Graphene and other two-dimensional materials
2) Production and mechanical and structural properties
3) Graphene functionalization
4) Applications in renewable energy