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Silver, meet graphene.

Super strong, super light, near totally transparent and one of the best conductors of electricity ever discovered, graphene is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon atoms that owes its amazing properties to being 2-D.

Graphene, meet silver.

Silver is a high-quality noble metal that corrodes very slowly in moist air and doesn’t typically interact chemically with other substances. Graphene, meanwhile, is a much sought-after platform for new physics and device applications.

“You have one material, silver, that’s really good at confining light and another, graphene, that’s really good with efficiently moving electrons,” said Northwestern Univ. graduate student Brian Kiraly, who discovered the new process making the growth of graphene on silver possible.

Researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with scientists at Northwestern Univ. are the first to grow graphene on silver which, until now, posed a major challenge to many in the field. Part of the issue has to do with the properties of silver, the other involves the process by which graphene is grown.

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