A simple way to make free energy is by adding a catalyst (typically zinc oxide) to graphene, or adding other materials to the mix. The reaction is so fast that an electron beam is fired from a high-efficiency electron microscope and creates a flash of light that allows oxygen to flow into the mixture.
But even without any catalyst, the process works. As long as the catalyst is present, oxygen is still readily released from the graphene sheet. So you can still benefit if you can get the graphene sheet at room temperature.
You don’t need an electron microscope for this to work, since it’s an ionic reaction. It’s still possible to see oxygen’s transition from green to white in the visible visible wavelengths, but not white light at all in the red light emitted from an ion-transistor camera, which is an important part of the photoelectron spectroscopy used to measure oxygen levels.
Is making free energy from graphene a new way to make quantum-computing material?
No. The reactions in our case are fairly simple. But they’re a far cry from making graphene with electrons. The graphene we used here was not made from graphene and carbon atoms bonded together. Rather, scientists had to make these nanoparticles by using a specific type of catalyst called “catalyst quenched organic light–emitting diodes” (CQOLED) technology. CQOLED works best in air because it is very efficient and doesn’t lose electrons during the reaction.
The new reactions described here are in addition to the typical reactions that are used to make graphene. For example, researchers have developed a very simple method for making carbon nanotubes by ionic reactions, which we have discussed in detail elsewhere. The important thing is that these reactions only need to be done once to make graphene.
And is this the first time that an electronic material has been developed through this kind of process?
Not exactly. In the early 1970s, researchers used oxygen to make graphene. However, other researchers have been researching this process for decades, with the most recent example being a team at MIT that found a way to make graphene in a process that was even simpler in a previous paper. The MIT team developed something they call a “self-assembled” nanotube, which is just a layer of carbon atoms (not graphene sheets, just carbon atoms bonded together), that is self-assembled. One of the challenges of this process was that it took so long
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