Fluorographene turned out to be a high-quality insulator which does not react with other chemicals and can sustain high temperatures even in air.
One of the most intense directions in graphene research has been to open a gap in graphene's electronic spectrum, that is, to make a semiconductor out of metallic graphene. This should allow many applications in electronics. Fluorographene is found to be a wide gap semiconductor and is optically transparent for visible light, unlike graphene that is a semimetal.
Professor Geim said: "Electronic quality of fluorographene has to be improved before speaking about applications in electronics but other applications are there up for grabs."
Rahul Nair, who led this research for the last two years and is a PhD student working with Professor Geim, added: "Properties of fluorographene are remarkably similar to those of Teflon but this is not a plastic.
"It is essentially a perfect one-molecule-thick crystal and, similar to its parent, fluorographene is also mechanically strong. This makes a big difference for possible applications.
"We plan to use fluorographene an ultra-thin tunnel barrier for development of light-emitting devices and diodes.
"More mundane uses can be everywhere Teflon is currently used, as an ultra-thin protective coating, or as a filler for composite materials if one needs to retain the mechanical strength of graphene but avoid any electrical conductivity or optical opacity of a composite".
Industrial scale production of fluorographene is not seen as a problem as it would involve following the same steps as mass production of graphene.
The Manchester researchers believe that the next important step is to make proof-of-
|Contact: Daniel Cochlin|
University of Manchester