Graphene Proves To Be One Hundred Times Better at Rustproofing Metals

Australian and US researchers use graphene for rustproofing copper

2 min read
Graphene Proves To Be One Hundred Times Better at Rustproofing Metals

While the wonder material graphene continues to come under pressure from other two-dimensional materials in electronics applications, it has continued to build up applications far afield from electronics.

One of the applications that has opened up over the last year is rustproofing. In May of this year, researchers from the University of Buffalo demonstrated that they could use graphene in rustproofing steel.

Now researchers at Monash University in Australia and Rice University in the USA have used graphene to rustproof copper.

The research, which was published in the journal Carbon (“Protecting copper from electrochemical degradation by graphene coating”), claims that the graphene-based coating renders copper nearly 100 times more resistant to corrosion than if left unprotected.

“We have obtained one of the best improvements that has been reported so far,” says study co-author Dr Mainak Majumder in the university press release. “At this point we are almost 100 times better than untreated copper. Other people are maybe five or six times better, so it’s a pretty big jump.”

To achieve the atomic-scale rustproof coating, the researchers simply heated the graphehe to temperatures between 800 and 900 degrees celcisus and then applied the graphene to the copper through chemical vapor deposition. Seeing whether they can apply the graphene coating at a lower temperature will be a focus for future research.

The University of Buffalo researchers explained that their research into rustproofing steel was in part motivated by a desire to find a more environmentally friendly method than the chrome electroplating that is typically used. But the Monash and Rice team see their graphene film replacing polymer coatings used in metals, so the environmental aspect is less acute in this case.

Nonetheless, the Australian-U.S. research team believes that this use of graphene could change the rustproofing methods for products as varied as ocean-going vessels and electronics.

The Conversation (0)

3 Ways 3D Chip Tech Is Upending Computing

AMD, Graphcore, and Intel show why the industry’s leading edge is going vertical

8 min read
Vertical
A stack of 3 images.  One of a chip, another is a group of chips and a single grey chip.
Intel; Graphcore; AMD
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A crop of high-performance processors is showing that the new direction for continuing Moore’s Law is all about up. Each generation of processor needs to perform better than the last, and, at its most basic, that means integrating more logic onto the silicon. But there are two problems: One is that our ability to shrink transistors and the logic and memory blocks they make up is slowing down. The other is that chips have reached their size limits. Photolithography tools can pattern only an area of about 850 square millimeters, which is about the size of a top-of-the-line Nvidia GPU.

For a few years now, developers of systems-on-chips have begun to break up their ever-larger designs into smaller chiplets and link them together inside the same package to effectively increase the silicon area, among other advantages. In CPUs, these links have mostly been so-called 2.5D, where the chiplets are set beside each other and connected using short, dense interconnects. Momentum for this type of integration will likely only grow now that most of the major manufacturers have agreed on a 2.5D chiplet-to-chiplet communications standard.

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