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Research Shakes Space Task – ScienceDaily



According to a new study by the Australian National University (ANU), 2D materials can not only withstand being sent to space, but also potentially thrive in harsh environments.

It affects the types of materials used to make everything from satellite electronics to solar cells and batteries, making future space missions easier to use and lowering launch costs.

Tobias Vogl, Ph.D. candidate and lead author, was particularly interested in whether 2D materials can withstand intense radiation.

"The space environment is clearly different from what we have on Earth, so we exposed a variety of 2D materials at a level similar to what we expect from space," Dr. Vogel said.

"We found that most of these devices were actually well handled. We were looking at electrical and optical properties, but basically there was no difference."

From Earth's satellite orbit, it can be heated, cooled and radiated. There has been a lot of work to demonstrate the robustness of 2D materials in relation to temperature changes, but the effects of radiation have not been known until now.

The ANU team performed several simulations to model the space environment for potential orbits. This was used to expose the 2D material to the expected radiation level. They found that when exposed to intense gamma radiation, one substance actually improved.

Professor Vogel said, "After investigating the gamma rays, the material gets stronger and reminds me of the Hulk."

"We're talking about a higher level of radiation than we can see in space, but we've actually seen that matter better or brighter."

Professor Vogel said this particular substance could potentially be used to detect radiation doses in harsh environments, such as near a reactor.

"The application area of ​​this 2D material will vary widely from graphene-enhanced satellite structures up to five times more rigid than steel, to lighter, more efficient solar cells. "

Among the tested devices, there were atomically thin transistors. Transistors are an important component of any electronic circuit. The study also examined quantum light sources that could be used to form what Vogl described as the "backbone" of the future quantum Internet.

"This quantum Internet can be used for satellite-based long distance quantum cryptography networks, which will be evidence of hacking, which is more important now that cyber attacks and data leaks are on the rise."

Professor Ping Koy Lam said, "Australia is already a world leader in quantum technology.

"In light of the recent establishment of the Australian Space Agency and the Institute for Space at the ANU, this study demonstrates that it can compete internationally using quantum technologies to improve space technology."

The study was published in a journal. Natural communication.

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