As graphene is a gapless material, efficient radiative recombination of injected charge carriers, holes and electrons, such as found in LEDs, is difficult. While the ubiquitous tungsten light bulbs emit light as the filament temperature reaches nearly half of the Sun’s surface temperature (~6000 K). Suspending the micron-sized graphene devices eliminates much of the heat dissipation pathways. As graphene is known to have the most robust mechanical properties known, by applying modest electrical current, electron temperatures reach nearly 3000 K resulting in a bright visible light emission.
The phenomenon was first observed by Dr. Young Duck Kim (currently a post-doctoral researcher at Columbia University) nearly five years ago when he was a doctorate student and BK post-doc in YDP Lab (Prof. Yun Daniel Park (PI) along with then MS student Pilkwang Kim). Current SNU Physics doctorate candidate Ji Hoon Ryoo, a co-first author, along with Prof. Cheol-Hwan Park contributed in developing the theoretical model for the emitted light from graphene. Domestic researchers from KRISS, Konkuk University, Sejong University, and Sogang University added great contributions to the work. The research work is published in Nature Nanotechnology (IF = 33.265).
The work has already received vast interest from domestic and international news outlets. In Korea, the work has been highlighted in newspapers such as Joogang Ilbo and in broadcasting, MBC News Today. Internationally, the work has been highlighted in newspapers and magazines such as UK edition of International Business Times, National Geographic, FoxNews and Wall Street Journal. And, in social media, leading science blogs such as livescience.com, phys.org, and the official Facebook page of Nobelprize, which highlighted the National Geographic article.