A team of scientists from the University of Manchester, led by Professor Irina Grigorieva, found that nanobubbles made from a single layer of graphene atoms can withstand colossal loads. The strength of graphene is 200 times that of steel.
Graphene bubbles are a side effect of placing graphene on flat substrates, and until now scientists have not paid any attention to them. Researchers at the University of Manchester took an interest in nanospheres and discovered their unique properties.
Professor Irina Grigorieva
Graphene bubbles can form the basis of tiny machines that can withstand enormous pressures. They can also be used to study the ability of molecules to respond to extreme pressure.
Studying their properties, scientists have found that the shape and size of nanospheres provide comprehensive information about the elasticity and principles of interaction of graphene with a substrate. It was also found that similar balls can be created from various crystals, for example, from molybdenum disulfide or boron nitride.
Measurements have shown that graphene nanospheres can withstand pressures up to 2000 atmospheres. For smaller nanospheres, this indicator increases. One of the leading specialists of the project, graduate student Yekaterina Aleksandrova, assessed the results of the research:
“With the help of ultra-high pressure, you can change the properties of the material inside the nanospheres. For example, you can force a liquid to crystallize at a temperature much lower than the freezing point. "