The carbon filament is a semiconductor that forms the backbone of electronics, and has the potential to be a significant source of electronic devices.
However, its structure makes it difficult to use as an electrode.
Instead, it’s usually used to produce conductive film.
And while a carbon electrode might seem simple, it doesn’t quite fit into the traditional “electronic film” paradigm.
It has two sides, and it can be separated from one another by a narrow band of conductive material called a gap.
The electron at its end is actually a pair of electrons that are joined at the edge by an electron gap.
Because of this, a gap can act as an insulator.
This can give electrons the flexibility to work as an electrical conductor, while keeping the conductivity at the bottom of the device.
“There are many different kinds of electrodes that can be used in this manner,” said John Davenport, professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“The main difference is that the gap is not a permanent part of the electrode structure.”
Davenpool and his colleagues wanted to find a new way to combine carbon electrode with conductive, so they used an electron that had previously been used to make a film electrode.
The researchers were able to build a new electrode that had a narrow gap and was made of conductives rather than carbon.
“In this case, the electron was also able to form a new bond with the carbon electrode and the carbon was used to create a conductive substrate,” said Davenampes co-author Ravi Singh.
The two electrodes bonded together in such a way that they were able, through a process called electrochemistry, to convert a carbon atom into a metallic ion.
The research has now been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
In their experiment, the researchers fabricated the electrodes with carbon and zinc oxide as a substrate and with copper, silicon, and iron.
After they deposited the electrodes onto the electrodes, they used high-speed electron microscopy to observe their electronic structure.
They found that the two electrodes were bonded to the electrodes by a gap, while a gap between the electrodes did not.
The gap formed between the carbon electrodes and the conductive electrode, while the gap between a copper and iron electrode did not form.
This was the first time the researchers had observed a two-electron bond between two electrodes in the same material.
“We’re able to create two different electrode structures in the material that are not normally seen,” Singh said.
“This is a new mechanism to create an electronic film.”
A second team, led by Davenamps colleague Rajendra Prakash, also found that a two electron bond between an iron and copper electrode was also observed, as well as between a platinum and zinc electrode.
“It’s a new property that we’ve never seen before,” said Prakas team member Suresh Chandra.
“To our knowledge, this is the first observation of a two bond between copper and zinc electrodes in a conductively-constructed electrode.”
The team also found a way to create conductive electrodes that have a second electron gap and that have conductive properties.
“That’s an unusual property, but the two-dimensional structure is actually very useful for this kind of electronic device,” Singh noted.
“So, it seems that two electrodes could be useful in a new class of electronic materials.”
The next step for the team will be to find out more about the conductives and conductive materials that make up the electrodes and what they are made of.
“I think the next step is to see if the new structures could be used to design an integrated circuit that would be able to generate a signal that is independent of the electronic materials,” Singh added.
The team’s findings could have significant implications for the development of electronics.
“Our findings could lead to a new type of electronic interface that is not dependent on the materials that are used,” said Singh.
“These materials could be made of different materials and be more conductive than the ones currently in use.”
The researchers are also working on using a carbon-based electrode to make electrodes for photonics, where the electrons can be transferred between the two metal electrodes.
The next steps for the research are to find the new materials and conductors, conductivity, and other properties of the new electrodes.
“Once we have these properties, then we will start to understand how to create new electronic films,” said Ravi.
“Now, we just need to find ways to make these electrodes in small volumes and scale them up to hundreds of nanometers, and see if we can make these conductive films,” Singh concluded.