Researchers from the University of Arkansas have discovered a new phenomenon in graphene that could be used as a source of energy, reported Science Alert.
The researchers were initially trying to make sense of a rippling effect detected in graphene’s behaviour.
The way graphene’s atoms pop back and forth without its bonds unravelling didn’t fit any expected model, and research were concerned they wouldn’t learn anything from their study.
The team then found their sheets of graphene were buckling in a similar way to the back-and-forth snapping of a bent piece of thin metal as it is twisted from the sides – called Lévy Flights.
They then measured the rate and scale of the graphene waves, and found that if electrodes were placed on either end of the buckling graphene, a small shifting voltage is detected.
A 10 micron by 10 micron piece of graphene was found to produce ten microwatts of power.