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Graphene and 2-dimensional Materials

University of Manchester via Coursera

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The new field of 2-dimensional (2-d) materials has seen exponential growth since the isolation of graphene, a single atomic layer of carbon atoms, at University of Manchester in 2004. What is a 2-d material, and how is it different to 3-dimensional materials that we encounter every day? How does the 2-d nature affect the material’s properties, for instance, how do electrons living in a 2-d world behave? How would we harness the unique properties of 2-d materials and put them to use in real-world applications? We will answer these questions and more in this course on Graphene and other 2-d materials.

The course will describe how a number of key aspects of the broader field of nanomaterials are applied to study 2-d materials, including methods of production such as chemical vapour deposition, characterisation techniques such as Raman spectroscopy and electron microscopy, and the production of nano-electronic and nano-composite structures.


Week 1: Introduction

  • What is graphene? Atomic structure and graphene
  • History of graphene
  • Why is graphene a 2-d material?
  • Imaging the structure of graphene
  • Properties of graphene overview

Week 2: Production of graphene and 2-d materials

  • Comparison of production methods
  • Scotch-tape method (micromechanical cleavage)
  • Chemical vapour deposition
  • Solution-exfoliation 1 – graphene and other 2-d materials
  • Solution-exfoliation 2 – graphene oxide
  • Decomposition of silicon carbide
  • Production of graphene nano-ribbons

Week 3: Electronic properties and devices

  • Electronic structure of graphene
  • First graphene device
  • Further graphene devices and evidence of 2-dimensional nature
  • Electronic properties of bilayer graphene
  • Switching graphene OFF

Week 4: Raman spectroscopy

  • Principles of Raman spectroscopy
  • Raman spectrum of graphene
  • Analysis of graphene Raman spectra
  • Raman spectra of other 2-D materials

Week 5: Chemical properties and sensors

  • X-ray photoemission spectroscopy
  • Optical absorption spectroscopy
  • Functionalising graphene
  • Hydrogels and aerogels
  • Liquid cystals
  • Gas and chemical sensors

Week 6: Mechanical properties and applications

  • Measuring mechanical properties
  • Graphene resonators
  • Electromechanical devices
  • Graphene bubbles
  • Graphene composites

Week 7: Graphene membranes

  • GO and rGO membranes
  • Membranes for separation
  • Membranes as barriers
  • Porous membranes
  • Supercapacitor electrodes

Week 8: Biomedical devices and 2-d heterostructures

  • Biocompatibility and biodistribution
  • Scaffolds for tissue engineering
  • Drug and gene delivery
  • Cancer therapy
  • Introduction to 2-d heterostructures
  • 2D heterostructure devices

Taught by

Aravind Vijayaraghavan


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  • Anastasia Blita

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