Graphene the Material of the Future
The graphene is a substance which has a single-layer crystal lattice of carbon atoms, which is unusual since it is different from all of the materials of its kind. Several researchers have identified a way of making this substance, which allows them to use it in various fields and especially for the high-speed electronic devices.
If the 20th century was the age of plastics, the 21st century seems set to become the age of graphene—a recently discovered material made from honeycomb sheets of carbon just one atom thick.
People are discovering and inventing new materials all the time, but we seldom hear about them because they’re often not that interesting. Graphene was first discovered in 2004, but what’s caused such excitement is that its properties (the way it behaves as a material) are remarkable and exciting. Briefly, it’s super-strong and stiff, amazingly thin, almost completely transparent, extremely light, and an amazing conductor of electricity and heat. It also has some extremely unusual electronic properties.
Graphene is defined as a one atom thin sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a Hexagonal format or a flat monolayer of carbon atoms that are tightly packed into a 2D honeycomb lattice.
History of Graphene:
In October 2010, two University of Manchester (U.K.) scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novolselov, were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics for their research on graphene. Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon whose strength, flexibility, and electrical conductivity have opened up new horizons for high-energy particle physics research and electronic, optical, and energy applications.
Graphene oxide, a single-atomic-layered material made by reacting graphite powders with strong oxidizing agents, has the ability to easily convert into graphene a low-cost carbon-based transparent and flexible electronics.
Graphene oxide has been known in the scientific world for more than a century and was largely described as hydrophilic, or attracted to water. These graphene oxide sheets behave like surfactants, the chemicals in soap and shampoo that make stains disperse in water.
Mechanical Properties of Graphene:
Graphene is the thinnest material known to man at one atom thick, and also incredibly strong – about 200 times stronger than steel. On top of that, graphene is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and has interesting light absorption abilities. It is truly a material that could change the world, with unlimited potential for integration in almost any industry.
1. Graphene sheets stack to form graphite with an interplanar spacing of 0.335 nm, which means that a stack of 3 million sheets would be only one millimeter thick.
2. Graphene is a Zero Gap Semiconductor. So it has a high electron mobility at room temperature. It’s a Superconductor. Electron transfer is 100 times faster then Silicon.
3. Graphene has a record breaking strength of 200 times greater than steel, with a tensile strength of 130GPa.
4. Graphene can be used to create circuits that are almost superconducting, potentially speeding electronic components by as much as 1000 times.
5. Graphene electrodes used in lithium-ion batteries could reduce recharge times from two hours to about 10 minutes.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) are two other potential routes to Graphene growth. Graphene is indeed very exciting, but producing high quality materials is still a challenge. Dozens of companies around the world are producing different types and grades of graphene materials – ranging from high quality single-layer graphene synthesized using a CVD-based process to graphene flakes produced from graphite in large volumes.
High-end graphene sheets are mostly used in R&D activities or in extreme applications such as sensors, but graphene flakes, produced in large volumes and at lower prices, are adopted in many applications such as sports equipment, consumer electronics, automotive and more.
Applications of Graphene Technology:
- New devices like Touch screens, Micro Displays and Monitors
- Chip Making, Circuit Designs
- Micro Fuel Cells
- Air Bag Deployment Systems and Gyroscopes in Car Electronic Stability Control
- Pressure Sensors, Micro Tips & probes
- Energy generation
- DNA sequencing
- Water filters