Graphene is a material that is just emerging. It could possibly change the way we make electronic components while helping the performance of computers to continue to grow. When it comes to research, this material is everywhere.
Advancements in the field suggest that graphene might be able to boost the speed of internet, work as a coating that is sensitive to touch, and might even be able to make our computers last longer. This material is stronger than a diamond and works to conduct heat and electricity better than any other material that has been discovered to date. It will very likely play a role in many of the products that will be in our homes in the future.
What is It?
Graphene is constructed from a layer of carbon atoms that have been bound together in repeating patterns of hexagons. It is a million times thinner than a single sheet of paper. It is so thin, in fact, that it is considered to only have 2 dimensions. This means that the graphene sheets for sale are not only the strongest material on the planet, they also form the foundation for other materials of importance. For example, the graphite that pencil leads are made from are formed by stacking graphene. Another material that is emerging – carbon nanotubes – are created from graphene that is rolled. These nanotubes are used for things like tennis rackets, bikes, and even in the engineering of living tissue!
You Can Make It Yourself
This is actually quite simple to do. All you need is a pencil and a sheet of paper. Begin to draw a line on the sheet of paper, but gradually lessen the pressure of the pencil until the point actually leaves the paper. Around the very lightest point of that line will be the graphene – the wonder material of the moment. This alone can tell you a lot about it. It can be created from the graphite found in pencils, but once you have gotten it, it can be a bit difficult to do anything with it… from a layman’s standpoint at least. Of course, for an industrial sized amount, other methods to create graphene need to be employed.
Graphene happens to be the absolute thinnest material on the planet. It has a thickness of a single atom, which is why it is deemed to be a 2D material. This material is also capable of absorbing 2% light. That might not seem to be a lot, but surprisingly, it is. What this means is that you are actually capable of seeing this single atom layer shimmering faintly with your naked eye. When it is suspended in a liquid it appears to be black.
Another incredible fact about graphene has to do with how strong it is. This incredible material is actually an amazing 200 times stronger than steel. For all of its strength, it also happens to be much more flexible than steel is.
When it comes to water, graphene is incredibly hydrophobic – which just means that it works as a repellant to water. This means that it has applications in coatings that can make ships go faster, or as a way to improve how efficient heat exchanges are.
If the graphene is chemically modified, it can create graphene oxide, which is another type of material. This one is not as good at conducting electricity as graphene, but it happens to attract water as opposed to repelling it. Because of this, it could be used in the future in the creation of membranes that could have applications in the purification of water.
If we want to be able to realize the complete potential of this wonderful material, we need to produce it on a large scale. This however, has different meanings for different people. Some people might consider this to mean producing it in tiny flake particles (the size of a nanometer) but in quantities of kilograms. Others might take it to mean producing the flake particles in a larger size, but only in quantities of micrograms. This means that there is a large potential for confusion when it comes to describing the production of it.
As you can see, this product can be quite useful for quite a few reasons. What uses can you think of for it and its unique properties?