Graphene allows "floating" atoms to be captured in a liquid

For the first time in history, scientists have captured images of individual atoms “floating” in a liquid. Graphene has not yet been used for this purpose.

Physicists at the University of Manchester Using stacks of 2D materials (including graphene) to trap fluids to better understand how they affect solid behavior.

Read also: Three-layer graphene has remarkable properties. In the future, it will be used in quantum technologies

When a solid comes into contact with a liquid, the composition of both substances changes. Such interactions at the interface between phases influence the behavior of fuel cells and also determine the efficiency of many biological processes.

Given the broad industrial and scientific importance of such behavior, it is truly amazing how much we still have to learn about the basics of how atoms on surfaces behave when in contact with liquids. One reason for the lack of information is the lack of techniques capable of acquiring experimental data for solid-liquid interfaces.Professor Sarah Hay from the University of Manchester

There are not many tools that make it possible to view individual atoms. One of the most useful is the transmission electron microscope (TEM), which requires a high vacuum environment.

In our work, we show that misinformation is provided if the behavior of atoms is studied in a vacuum rather than using liquid cells.Dr. Nick Clark

Thanks to the new analysis, scientists were able to understand the influence of fluids on the behavior of atoms. He found that the liquid speeds up the movement of the atoms and also changes their preferred positions in relation to the basic solid.

This is a groundbreaking achievement, and this is just the beginning – we are already looking into using this technology to support the development of sustainable chemical processing materials that are essential to meet the global ambition of net zero emissions.Dr. Nick Clark

These findings could have a significant impact on the future development of green technologies such as hydrogen production. Details can be read temper nature.

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