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ACS Nano publishes a new study on graphene coordinated by professor Maria Clelia Righi

On the famous journal ACS Nano, dedicated to research in the field of Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies, a study on graphene has been published, coordinated by Professor Maria Clelia Righi of the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics - FIM of Unimore, in cooperation with the Department of Physics of the University of Basel.

Professor Maria Clelia Righi of FIM and her collaborator Paolo Restuccia, who currently works at the Imperial College of London, have carried out a study on the property of graphene deposits on copper, in collaboration with the group of nanoscience of the University of Basel.

Graphene – Professor Maria Clelia Righi explains - is a carbon sheet with a thickness equivalent to an atom. Since its discovery, which was awarded with the Nobel price in 2010, graphene has become a strategic material for applications in many sectors, from electronics to tribology. Graphene sheets without flaws or impurities may be created by means of organic molecules deposits on transition metals. However, the interaction with the metal substrate affects the exceptional optical and electronic properties of graphene and reduces them”.

Through experiments made with the atomic force microscopy, a group of researchers of the University of Basel showed that this obstacle may be overcome by inserting potassium bromide between graphene and copper. Led by Professor Righi of Unimore, the team explained the reason why it raises, compared to other elements such as sodium chloride, and loves “sneaking” between graphene and the metal substrate. Based on equations of quantum mechanics and carried out by Unimore researchers, ab initio simulations have also shown that the process creating alternate layers is effective enough to decouple graphene from metal, maintaining its distinctive electronic properties.

This discovery – Professor Maria Clelia Righi of Unimore claims – will be useful to decouple other two-dimensional materials from the substrate on which they rest, with relevant consequences for several applications, such as solar cells, batteries, supercapacitors, etc. The fruitful collaboration with the University of Basel is a success for our group because it shows that the skills we have at Unimore on computational methods for the study of materials are highly appreciated at international level and, combined with high-level experiments, may have a strong impact on various scientific sectors, nanoscience in this case”.

Unimore computational research group in tribology and materials

The work group by M. Clelia Righi at the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics (FIM) of Unimore is currently made of six young researchers and works on the computational study of materials, with a specific focus on materials aimed at reducing friction, and nanotechnologies. Also working on the development of multi-scale simulation methods, the group is assisted by scientists belonging to famous international laboratories and industries. For further information   www.tribchem.it   

Maria Clelia Righi

She was born in Modena. She did classical studies at the San Carlo high school in Modena, and graduated with honours in Physics at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. She started her research activity on materials in Trieste at The International School for Advanced Studies (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati, SISSA) and obtained her PhD in Physics in 2004. She is currently an associate professor at the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Mathematics of Unimore, where she coordinates a research group on computational study of materials. She studies material friction and adhesion phenomena, of interest both for nanotechnologies, such as 2D materials, and for macroscopic applications, including coatings and lubricants in collaboration with industries like Toyota and Total.

Categorie: International - english

Articolo pubblicato da: Ufficio Stampa Unimore - ufficiostampa@unimore.it