Graphene is a thin layer of graphite that has been cut in a single plane. It is the thinnest possible form of graphite which still retains its unique properties.
Graphene was discovered in 2004, and since then scientists have gone on to explore just how much potential this material has for day-to-day life. Graphene is known to be the strongest material ever tested, as well as being the best adhesive we know of! It’s 100% biodegradable! Graphene outperforms steel and copper at half the weight making it perfect for use in airplanes or automobiles. Some have even suggested that the material can be used to make clothing, from socks to underwear. And since it's electrical conductivity has proven to be 2x that of copper, it's an excellent conductor.
Graphene is also made up of single layers of carbon atoms. These carbon atoms are arranged in a honeycomb like structure with zero breaks or gaps in the lattice. This strong and unbreakable hexagonal lattice is why graphene is so strong, light, and electrically conductive. There are no defects in the material that would weaken it, meaning graphene can be stretched endlessly without any snap back effect.
It has incredible electrical conductivity. It can be made in larger sheets than silicon, revolutionizing our technology. And it's only an atom thick. It is a material so revolutionary and versatile that scientists are still trying to figure out what it can't do. In this post we'll talk about why graphene is such a big deal and what makes its potential so exciting. We'll also show you where you can find some of the coolest examples of how it's being used today and how these innovations could shape our future.
There are still many mysteries about it, but we know that it's incredibly strong and extremely flexible and conducts electricity two to five times better than copper, all while being more bendable than rubber or plastic. It's even stronger than diamond. It's also the thinnest material in the world, making it the ideal material for making smaller devices.
What makes graphene so unique is its honeycomb-like atomic structure. Graphene has no protons or neutrons in its nucleus, just electrons that are arranged like tiles on the surface of a honeycomb. This structure allows graphene to behave like a semiconductor, an insulator and a conductor all at the same time. That's what makes it so incredibly versatile.
Where can you find it?
So what are you supposed to do with graphene? Well, its abilities could change everything from how we power our devices to how we carry them around. Here's where you can see some of the coolest ways that it's being used today:
Graphene Batteries: Today's batteries are big, bulky and not very efficient. They also tend to get hot (sometimes too hot) when they're in use, which is a big problem for anything electronic or mechanical that needs batteries to operate. But researchers are working on a new kind of battery that could make this a thing of the past.
A few years back, Japanese researcher Takeo Shimoyama developed a graphene supercapacitor that's small and lightweight enough to make devices carry batteries the size of their own batteries. What makes this so cool is that what makes these so much better than old-fashioned batteries is their high battery density. They can go for days without being charged, and it only takes seconds for them to charge up from flat. Plus, they can have an indefinite number of charges and discharges without losing any power capacity.