London, Oct 1 (ANI): Graphene flakes have created a record by spinning faster than any other object-at a clip of 60 million rotations per minute.
Graphene has shown a suite of novel properties, including incredible strength.
Bruce Kane at the University of Maryland in College Park sprayed charged graphene flakes a micrometre wide into a vacuum chamber.
Once there, oscillating electric fields trapped the flakes in mid-air.
Kane then set them spinning using a light beam that is circularly polarised, meaning it passes its momentum to objects in its path.
As a result, the flakes started spinning at 60 million rotations per minute, faster than any other macroscopic object.
Previously, micrometre-sized crystals have been spun at up to 30,000 rpm using a different technology called an optical trap.
But thanks to graphene's amazing strength, that the flakes are not pulled apart by the much higher spinning rate, said Kane.
He added that the graphene flakes are only spinning at a thousandth of their theoretical maximum rate, given graphene's estimated strength.
By tweaking the experimental set-up, a graphene flake could potentially be spun even faster.
Kane suggests that spinning could be a way to probe the properties of graphene, or manipulate it in new ways.
"I think that the environment of having something levitated, with the option of spinning it, might be a new one for modification, manipulation or growth of small pieces of graphene," New Scientist quoted Kane as saying.
Changgu Lee at the Sungkyunkwan University in Suwon, South Korea, who previously tested graphene's strength, agreed.
He said: "When spinning graphene at super-high speed, it will be stretched like pizza dough which will enable scientists to observe some interesting physics."
The study has been published in the journal Physical Review B. (ANI)