An international group of researchers based at the University of Pennsylvania has created a unique alloy - borographene or boron-doped graphene. It is capable of responding to the smallest concentrations of various gases, which roughly corresponds to one gas molecule per quadrillion air molecules.
Borographene is formed by the fusion of boron and graphene atoms, which are next to each other in the periodic table. This indicates the similarity of their atoms and the possibility of connection. However, boron compounds are very unstable when exposed to air, which poses problems with conventional graphene production methods.
To solve this problem, a bubbler was used - an apparatus for chemical vapor deposition, with the help of which it was possible to isolate boron from the atmosphere at the moment of connection with graphene. In this way, it was possible to obtain a sheet of boron-doped graphene with an area of 1 sq. cm.
It was he who became the basis of the new generation of ultrasensitive gas analyzer. Thus, when detecting ammonia molecules, it exhibits a sensitivity 27 times higher, and the speed of their detection is 105 times higher than that of conventional devices.