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Using the Natural Motion of 2D Materials to Create a New Source of Clean Energy

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posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 03:32 PM
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Ever since Robert Brown discovered Brownian motion (Wikipedia) in 1827, scientists have wondered whether they could harvest this motion as a source of energy. The research of Paul Thibado, professor of physics at the University of Arkansas, provides strong evidence that the motion of graphene could indeed be used as a source of clean, limitless energy.
...
What sets Thibado’s work apart is his discovery that graphene has naturally occurring ripples that invert their curvature as the atoms vibrate in response to the ambient temperature.

“This is the key to using the motion of 2D materials as a source of harvestable energy,” Thibado said. Unlike atoms in a liquid, which move in a random directions, atoms connected in a sheet of graphene move together. This means their energy can be collected using existing nanotechnology.

Thibado has taken the first steps toward creating a device that can turn this energy into electricity, with the potential for many applications. He recently applied for a patent on this invention, called a Vibration Energy Harvester, or VEH.


A Potential Source of Clean, Limitless Energy



The pieces of graphene in Thibado’s lab measure about ten microns across, so tiny that more than 20,000 of them could fit on the head of a pin. Each Levy flight exhibited by an individual ripple measures only 10 nanometers by 10 nanometers, yet could produce 10 picowatts of power. As a result, each of these micro-sized membranes has the potential to produce enough energy to power a wristwatch, and they would never wear out or need charging.

Univ. of Arkansas, Research Frontiers (.edu), Oct. 20, 2017 - Good Vibrations.

news.uark.edu, Nov. 20, 2017 - Using the Natural Motion of 2D Materials to Create a New Source of Clean Energy.

What?! In a search for some good reading on graphene, a form of carbon molecules (allotrope) 1-atom thick and connected in a hexagonal array (lattice), I happened upon this story from last month!

For those that don't remember high school physics or chemistry, Brownian motion is the random movement of molecules in a gas or liquid (see Wikipedia link above for complete article). In graphene, that movement is restricted to a 2-D surface. That means the movement goes up from the surface or down from the surface.

The researchers were noticing two phenomena. It is like a group of birds flying in a pattern versus a whole flock of birds. They could not tell where the motion was coming from using a scanning tunnel microscope (STM). Having reached a point of total frustration they decided to stop trying to follow the movement across the sheet of graphene but keep it stationary and pointed straight down at the surface. That is when they noticed the difference of small waves and big waves. The article above is quoted and the term "Levy flights" is the technical term for the big waves.

They took it a step further and placed a positive charged plate below the graphene and a negative charged sheet above. As the Levy flights rippled through the graphene they would strike the bottom one then the top one creating, in effect, an alternating current! This is just random fluctuations in the 2D material itself. It could be heat or another electrical source... or just the random motion of the carbon molecules in the lattice!

They have turned the random Brownian motion of molecules into electricity!!

This is huge! As in, it is small, but that is where everything starts in 2D materials! You can connect up a bunch of tiny things in 2D space to have a huge impact in our macro 3D world.

Graphene the wonder material to the rescue!





posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 03:39 PM
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I don’t see why they call graphene 2d when it’s a 3 dimensional structure.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 03:52 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Fascinating find! Technology is so exponential that it is hard to keep up.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 03:55 PM
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a reply to: TheLotLizard

It only has two surfaces.

Yeah atoms are 3D. But in the sense of crystalline structures it is a 2D structure. Diamond would be the 3D version. I guess, technically, it is 3D but when talking of a crystal and crystal homology you use "2D" for atomically thin crystal lattices of any single atom.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 04:16 PM
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originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
a reply to: TheLotLizard

It only has two surfaces.

Yeah atoms are 3D. But in the sense of crystalline structures it is a 2D structure. Diamond would be the 3D version. I guess, technically, it is 3D but when talking of a crystal and crystal homology you use "2D" for atomically thin crystal lattices of any single atom.



It has a top it has a bottom and it has 2 sides. It’s 3d



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: iTruthSeeker

This material is about to change the world in other ways.

It is so good at transmuting power, like a piezo crystal taking physical movement and creating electric current, across multiple sources. There was an announcement last year of converting rain fall to electricity on solar cells. It can convert electricity to visible light. It can work with terahertz radio waves.

Production at industrial quantities of defect free sheets or rolls is the last major stumbling block.

This is crazy news! Almost like science fiction. No telling where or what it will lead to.




posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 04:30 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Cool stuff . I was watching a vid earlier on the Rodin Coil and wondered if the two could be utilized together . I wish I was smarter to figure this kind of stuff out but am grateful I am smart enough to appreciate the minds that can .



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 04:47 PM
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originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
a reply to: iTruthSeeker

This material is about to change the world in other ways.

It is so good at transmuting power, like a piezo crystal taking physical movement and creating electric current, across multiple sources. There was an announcement last year of converting rain fall to electricity on solar cells. It can convert electricity to visible light. It can work with terahertz radio waves.

Production at industrial quantities of defect free sheets or rolls is the last major stumbling block.

This is crazy news! Almost like science fiction. No telling where or what it will lead to.





Just bizzare. Another good thing about tech is the whole open source stuff that is available. There are lots of things we as civilians can now play with that in ways can change/level the playing field. Exciting times.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 04:48 PM
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Is Graphene Two-Dimensional?

In 2010 the Nobel committee awarded the Prize in Physics to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”. However, the debate about the real dimensionality of graphene is still open: Is it two or three-dimensional? “Some of the debate surrounds the observation that the graphene sheets are not perfectly flat but can contain waves as distortions since the carbon rings are puckered”, explains Professor Samantha Jenkins, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan Normal University, China.


www.chemistryviews.org...



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:01 PM
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a reply to: TheLotLizard

You missed the term, "crystal homology", where crystals are defined by "sp" orbital bonds. Graphene is sp-2 and is grown atomically flat. Sp-3 bonds include diamond and buckyballs (actually, that one is more like sp-2.5).

A plane has two sides, do you call that 3D? No, you do not. As far as crystals go, which graphene is one, it is considered a 2D material with all the properties associated therein. Including being affected by Brownian motion in a 2D plane (this has never occurred in a 3D material) which is the point of the OP.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:03 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Let me ask you a question could this material be used to stop a bullet to the extent the wearer of such a bulletproof vest would not be knocked down?



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: Kashai

Yes, but there is a catch.

The original type of that question was "an elephant standing on a pin could not penetrate 50 layers of grapheme" (or some number like that... maybe even a single layer). That is where these analogies start becoming unrealistic.

While the material is strong enough to stop an elephant or bullet that does not mean it does not stretch or even tear. The bullet may stop but the kinetic energy still has to go somewhere (Newton's conservation of momentum). Your rib cage takes the pounding. No bullet, but instead you get ground beef for a chest.

The idea is to combine current flak jacket concepts and add to them with graphene. Reduce the weight instead of carrying around 50 lbs of reinforced steal plates over your shoulders.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:16 PM
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Consider that such a bulletproof vest ideally would be able to absorb the energy so the bullet would simply fall down and its occupant wouldn't be uninjured at all. I would consider that for headshots the wearer of such an outfit would need a helmet.

Obviously, the weight would be an issue but it's a worthy cause.

edit on 20-11-2017 by Kashai because: Added content



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:22 PM
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And what about contact sports?



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:25 PM
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a reply to: Kashai

The research (if not already done by the likes of Lockheed, etc.), is certainly going that way!

There is a real 3D version of graphene that is made into an aerogel. They suspend graphene flakes in a solution and remove the liquid (like freeze drying). What is left behind is what is called, "liquid smoke" and is extremely lightweight.

My bet would be a combination of the two in layers to reduce over all weight of bullet proof vests.

YouTube - UPDATE: GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS has named the graphene aerogel world's lightest material



a reply to: Kashai

Helmets. They are putting it in bike tires and fishing rods (right now). They have ski jackets and ski pants that keep you warm and are like wind breakers for sale!

See, ATS: The GRAPHENE mega thread - because it's technology you need to know about!, for a whole host of other uses for graphene!
edit on 20-11-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: add link



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

You could get more energy out of rectifying naturally occurring electromagnetic waves and you don't need some undeveloped nano-tech to do it in bulk.

I hardly think that this is 'the' solution to provide useful power but interesting materials science, none the less.

edit on 20/11/2017 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Ok, for the sake of discussion what about making a helmet of pure graphene?

What you have offered is relevant as it could save lives and so will this.



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:46 PM
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while other researchers have theorized that temperature-induced curvature inversion in graphene could be used as an energy source, Thibado’s work is unique thanks to his discovery that graphene has naturally occurring ripples that invert their curvature as the atoms vibrate in response to the ambient temperature. “This is the key to using the motion of 2D materials as a source of harvestable energy,” Thibado said. Unlike atoms in a liquid, which move in a random directions, atoms connected in a sheet of graphene move together. This means their energy can be collected using existing nanotechnology.

Such a VEH device would involve a negatively charged sheet of graphene suspended between two metal electrodes. When the graphene flips up, it induces a positive charge in the top electrode, and when it flips down, it charges the bottom one, creating an alternating current.

The pieces of graphene in Thibado’s lab measure about ten microns across, so tiny that more than 20,000 of them could fit on the head of a pin.

grapheme-info.com Graphene's internal motion could provide limitless clean energy.

There is a slightly different perspective on the OP announcement!

The "ambient temperature" is very intriguing. Imagine a sidewalk wall covered with these all collecting energy was shadows and sunlight pass over the surface that is not being used! Charge some kind of storage system during the day and night.

Those are the crazy ideas that will be coming out from this discovery!



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:50 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Why not do both?

Ambient heat and ambient EM waves all being turned back into electricity for repurpose.

Purpose driven recycling. You might need it if you heading off to Mars or Deep Space 9!



posted on Nov, 20 2017 @ 05:57 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

A deposit I worked on in the James Bay low lands has a considerable amount of Graphene in the ground.
The company that owns the deposit is teaming with the University of Western Ontario to discover the nanotechnology capabilities that Graphene holds



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