Beijing: Graphene may be used to build fuel-free spacecraft; it is a marvel material that runs on just sunlight, as say by researchers in report.
This grapheme is sheets of carbon one atom thick that can turn light into action or conducts heart and electricity, which could form the basis of a fuel-free spacecraft.
The flat structure of this marvel Graphene’s is very strong and able to conducts electricity and heat extremely well that is highly useful for spacecraft that runs fuel free.
“This wonder material Graphene’s could be used to make a light powered propulsion system for spacecraft. The best possible spacecraft is one that doesn’t need any fuel”, says by Paul Lozano of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Researcher Yongsheng Chen and their colleagues has been investigating and noticed that whether larger arrangements of carbon can retain some of these properties.
They have published details of a “graphene sponge”, a squidgy material made by fusing crumpled sheets of graphene oxide.
While cutting a Graphene sponge with a laser, researchers Yongsheng Chen and his collegues at Nankai University in China had noticed the light propelled it forwards.
That was odd, because while lasers have been used to shove single molecules around, the sponge was a few centimetres across which is too large to move.
Researchers shot lasers of different wavelength and intensity at pieces of graphene sponge placed in vacuum.
They were able to push sponge pieces by as much as 40 centimetres upwards, after shooting them with lasers and focused sunlight. They even got the graphene to move by focusing ordinary sunlight on it with a lens.
Photons can be transfer momentum to an object and propel it forwards or upwards in the direction, and in the vacuum of space this tiny effect can build up enough thrust to move a spacecraft that helpful for fuel free spacecraft in future, as reported by researchers.
Recently, the Planetary Society in California launched a small solar sail to test the Graphene technology. The forces the team saw were too large to come from photons alone.
Researchers believe that this wonder graphene absorbs laser energy and builds up a charge of electrons. Eventually it can’t hold any more and extra electrons are released, pushing the sponge in the opposite direction.
They were able to confirm a current flowing away from the graphene as it was exposed to a laser, suggesting this hypothesis is correct.
Researchers said graphene sponge could be used to make a light-powered propulsion system for spacecraft that would beat solar sails.