The discovery opens up many exciting applications, with potential for the conversion of the sun’s heat into electricity, solar-powered seawater desalination, optical interconnectors and photodetectors. The researchers say that the collaboration, which was supported through the ARC’s Discovery Projects scheme, shows what can be achieved when different universities bring their own expertise to discover new science and its applications.
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recipient, Professor Baohua Jia, has led a group of researchers at the Centre for Translational Atomaterials (CTAM), Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Sydney and The Australian National University in a collaboration to develop an ultrathin graphene film with unique properties that has great potential for solar thermal energy harvesting. The research team developed a new class of optical material that is 1000 times finer than a human hair, and able to rapidly heat up to 160°C under natural sunlight in an open environment. The material includes a layer of graphene oxide with special coated grating structures that were fabricated with a method using lasers that is scalable and low cost. ULTRATHIN GRAPHENE FILM EFFICIENTLY ABSORBS ENERGY FROM THE WARM RAYS OF THE SUN
RESEARCHERS SAY THE NEW ULTRATHIN FILM COULD EVEN LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ‘INVISIBLE CLOAKING TECHNOLOGY’ THROUGH DEVELOPING LARGE-SCALE THIN FILMS ENCLOSING THE OBJECTS TO BE ‘HIDDEN’.
Prototype of ultrathin graphene solar heating film. Credit: Swinburne University of Technology.
DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES
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