Scientists have been trying to synthesize a new form of carbon called graphyne. However, they achieved limited success. Now, scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder have successfully created this long-hypothesized ‘next-generation wonder material’ called graphyne for the first time.
This new study bridge the gap between carbon material science, leading to possibilities for electronics, optics, and semiconducting material research.
Scientists, for years, have aimed to create new or novel carbon allotropes, or forms of carbon, after considering the usefulness of carbon in several industries. These allotropes can be constructed in different ways. It depends on how utilized carbon hybrids, denoted as sp2, sp3, and sp, hybridized carbon, and their corresponding bonds.
The most well-known carbon allotropes are graphite (used in tools like pencils and batteries) and diamonds, created out of sp2 carbon and sp3 carbon, respectively. Over the years, scientists have successfully produced several allotropes using standard chemistry methods, including fullerene and graphene.
However, different types of carbon can’t be synthesized together in large capacity through these methods. This left the material to remain only hypothesized.
Yiming Hu, a recent Ph.D. graduate in chemistry, was the paper’s first author, said, “Creating graphyne is an ancient, long-standing question, but since the synthetic tools were limited, the interest went down. We brought out the problem again and used a new tool to solve an old and important problem.”
To create graphyne, scientists used alkyne metathesis, thermodynamics, and kinetic control techniques.
Scientists now want to look into the precise details, including how to create the material on a large scale and how it can be manipulated.
Wei Zhang, a professor of chemistry at CU Boulder, said, “We are trying to explore this novel material from multiple dimensions, both experimentally and theoretically, from atomic-level to real devices.”
Hu said, “We hope in the future we can lower the costs and simplify the reaction procedure, and then, hopefully, people can benefit from our research.”
Other authors of the paper include Chenyu Wu, Qingyan Pan, and Yingjie Zhao from Qingdao University of Science and Technology; and Yinghua Jin, Rui Lyu, Vikina Martinez, Shaofeng Huang, Jingyi Wu, Lacey J. Wayment, Noel A. Clark, Markus B. Raschke from CU Boulder.
- Hu, Y., Wu, C., Pan, Q. et al. Synthesis of γ-graphyne using dynamic covalent chemistry. Nat. Synth (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s44160-022-00068-7