Sunday, December 10, 2023

Researchers seek to improve graphene production using high-performance computing

Graphene may be among the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last century. While it is familiar to us – graphene is considered an allotrope of carbon, meaning that it is essentially the same substance as graphite but in a different atomic structure –graphene opened up a world of possibilities for designing and building new technologies, reports. The material is two-dimensional, meaning that each “sheet” of graphene is only one atom thick, but its bonds make it as strong as some of the world’s hardest metal alloys while remaining lightweight and flexible. This unique mix of properties has piqued the interest of scientists from a wide range of fields, leading to research in using graphene for next-generation electronics, new coatings on industrial instruments and tools, and new biomedical technologies. Graphene is difficult to produce in large volumes, and demand for the material is continually growing. Recent research indicates that using a liquid copper catalyst may be a fast, efficient way for producing graphene, but researchers have a limited understanding of molecular interactions happening during these brief, chaotic moments that lead to graphene formation, meaning they cannot yet use the method to reliably produce flawless graphene sheets. To help develop methods for quicker graphene production, a team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has been using the JUWELS and SuperMUC-NG high-performance computing (HPC) systems at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) and Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) to run high-resolution simulations of graphene formation on liquid copper.

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