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A new allotrope of carbon has been produced. Like graphene, it is only one atom thick, but unlike graphene it behaves like a metal even at small scales, ideal for nanosized wires. This result is exciting for engineers trying to develop new carbon-based electronics and the new method demonstrates a novel way to produce other theoretically-designed but not-yet-created forms of nanoscale carbon materials.

In contrast to graphene and other forms of carbon, the new Biphenylene network -- as the new material is named -- has metallic properties. Narrow stripes of the network, only 21 atoms wide, already behave like a metal, while graphene is a semiconductor at this size. "These stripes could be used as conducting wires in future carbon-based electronic devices." said professor Michael Gottfried, at University of Marburg, who leads the team who developed the idea. The lead author of the study, Qitang Fan from Marburg continues, "This novel carbon network may also serve as a superior anode material in lithium-ion batteries, with a larger lithium storage capacity compared to that of the current graphene-based materials."

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