News Column

Plastic-based graphene offersaffordable substitute

July 7, 2014

A new plastic-based graphene substitute that is easy to mass-produce could replace graphene use in solar cells and semiconductor chips.

The current option for mass producing graphene involves a complicated eight-step process that requires both a catalyst and an extensive transfer process, Gizmag wrote.

Both of these processes are time-consuming and the transfer process can cause the manufactured graphene to wrinkle and crack, which reduces its quality.

To simplify the process, researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology developed a carbon nanosheet that cuts the production process down to two steps.

By coating a quartz substrate with a polymer solution and heating it at extremely high temperatures, the team was able to eliminate the need for a catalyst and transfer process, which also removed the steps most likely to damage the material.

As an added bonus, the nanosheets can also function as transparent electrodes for organic solar cells.

The new manufacturing technique is based on the way carbon fiber is currently mass produced, which would make the transition to large-scale manufacturing much simpler.

Visible crossing

The Smart Crosswalk is a great way to minimize pedestrian accidents when they use the crosswalk.

According to Yanko Design, basically the crosswalk changes to red as soon as someone sets foot on it. It is laced with sensors and during poor visibility (or night), it bears a hint of white illumination, making it perfectly visible to both pedestrians and vehicle drivers.

The construction design of Smart Crosswalk includes:

Sealed metal box with light elements installed inside, which are set in the cradle form on the roadway.

Splicer modules from enforced light-transmitting glass with relief on the topside for safe movement and relief on the inner side improve the light-diffusing qualities of the product.

Frames made of metal profile are fixed on the pavement.

Incoming electrical supply are organized differently from the municipal electric network, with the help of light or heat accumulators or installations that convert kinetic energy into electricity.

Climate engineering offers

little hope of mitigation

Injecting particles into the stratosphere to shade and cool the Earth will never stop climate change.

This is the shocking claim made in the July issue of Nature Climate Change by an international group of prominent scientists, including Dutchmen Marten Scheffer from Wageningen University and Aart de Zeeuw from Tilburg University, Physorg said.

An international agreement was drawn up in 1992 to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that would make it possible to limit climate change. Despite this, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane have continued to increase and measures to limit emissions have had little effect.

The CO2 concentration has now passed the limit of 400 ppm (May 2014: 401.88).

In theory, the amount of solar radiation that falls on the Earth can be limited by dispersing fine sulphate particles (aerosols) high in the atmosphere (the stratosphere). The group of scientists investigated whether applying solar radiation management would have the desired effect and, if so, whether such an international-level intervention was politically achievable.

They showed that although geo-engineering can reduce the average temperature of the Earth, it cannot halt climate change. In fact, it would result in a completely new climate with very different effects in different regions. As these effects would be negative in some areas of the world (extreme drought, for example), it is highly unlikely that political consensus would be achieved

Plastic-based graphene offersaffordable substitute

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Source: Iran Daily

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