Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great Place for Free Papers

One of the few commentators on this blog (Clement, much thanks) pointed out that many papers on graphene, particularly if they have to do with the physics side, are available free of charge on arXiv, a database originally set up in Los Alamos and now hosted by Cornell. Not all papers from major journals are in there, and not all papers in there have been submitted to a journal, but it's a good place to check if you're interested in the literature but don't have a major research university backing your expensive hobby. Not sure how it's legal, but I'll take it.

To demonstrate how nice this database is, Dr. Geim submitted his and Novoselov's landmark paper, as well as many of their other papers. I was planning to do an actual post on that paper, but I've already written a (dumbed down for my sake) summary of the synthetic method (scotch tape) and the rest of the paper is device physics and electronics, which I know very little about. I'll just add that this paper started off the graphene field not because it found the very first single-layer (or few-layer) graphene, but because it was the first to measure the field effect response in them. It finally gave a method by which all of these amazing predicted properties of graphene could be probed, even if it didn't give films good enough for commercial use. The other breakthrough that makes this paper great is that it gives a way to roughly correlate the color of the graphene film on SiO2 to the number of graphene layers present.