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24-carat gold 'snowflakes' improve graphene's electrical properties
Date:10/13/2009

"snowflakes" on graphene shows promise for biological devices as well as electronics. Berry is attaching DNA to these gold islands to make DNA sensors. He is joined by Nihar Mohanty, a doctoral student in chemical engineering, and undergraduate researcher Ashvin Nagaraja, a senior in electrical engineering. Nagaraja is a 2004 Manhattan High School graduate.

Berry said graphene-gold based DNA sensors will have enhanced sensitivity. Chemically reducing graphene oxide to obtain graphene requires harsh chemicals that destroy the DNA.

"Now we can use the harsh chemicals on graphene oxide imbedded with gold to obtain graphene with gold islands. Then we can use these gold islands to functionalize DNA."

Berry also is using graphene in conjunction with microwaves. He and Jasuja are "cooking" the graphene sheets as another way to produce particles on the material's surface.

Some of Berry's other graphene research involves using the modified graphene sheets to compartmentalize a coagulating solution, thus stabilizing it. His group has recently used hydrides to reduce graphene oxide to produce reduced graphene oxide in the matter of a few seconds. The graphene produced in this way can remain stable in the solution for several days. Further results will shortly appear in the journal Small

Discovered only five years ago, graphene has captured the attention of a large number of researchers who are studying its exceptional electrical, mechanical and optical properties, Berry said. His research group is among the few studying the material's interfacial properties and biological applications.

"We're entering a new era," Berry said. "From the zero-dimensional or one-dimensional molecular or polymer solutions, we are now venturing into the two-dimensional graphene solutions, which have fascinating new properties."


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Contact: Vikas Berry
vberry@k-state.edu
785-532-5519
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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