Researchers from Kyoto University and Osaka University are reported to have successfully synthesised a helical nanographene for the first time.
Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms in a hexagonal lattice which exhibits outstanding charge and heat transport properties. Graphene can now be twisted into helical (or spiral) shapes, and the team used X-ray crystallography to identify both clockwise and counter-clockwise nanographene helices.
Previously, these graphene constructs only existed in theory. This success offers possible applications in both nanoscale induction coils and molecular springs in nanomechanics. The structure may also have implications for the properties of graphene, from conduction to photoabsorption.