The Wonder Material Graphene

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nanotechnology Graphene

There is a new wonder material in town that might change our future. Imagine a coffee cup that streams the day’s headlines in real time. Or a cooking pot that can detect the presence of E. coli bacteria that could make you sick. Or a television screen that is as flexible and thin as a piece of paper. All of these applications could be a reality if the wonder material, named graphene, lives up to its hype.
Imagine a TV screen as thin and flexible as paper. A cook's pot that flashes a warning if it detects E. coli. Possible treatments for damaged spinal cords. It's not science fiction -- these are all possible applications of a material known as graphene.

This so-called "wonder material" is 100 times stronger than steel but thinner than any known solid. And It's the focus of the latest episode of ChemMatters.

The video below explains how graphene's incredible properties come from the unique arrangement of its atoms. Graphene, like diamonds and coal, is made up entirely of carbon. But unlike those materials, graphene's carbon atoms are arranged in two-dimensional sheets, making it incredibly strong and flexible.

Since graphene also conducts electricity as well as copper, it could lead to flexible cell phone touchscreens and transparent, inexpensive solar cells. Ongoing advances in manufacturing graphene are bringing these and other devices closer to reality.

Atomic structures of six common forms of carbon: (a) coal, (b) graphite, (c) diamond; (d) buckyball; (e) nanotube; and (f) graphene. Photos of pieces of coal, a golf club made with graphite, and a diamond ring are examples of products made with the first three forms of carbon. Products made with buckyballs, nanotubes, and graphene are still under development. Image Source: ChemMatters
In the video below, the video's narration incorrectly states that Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov are chemists. Both Geim and Novoselov are physicists. [Bytesize Science regrets the error.]

SOURCE  Bytesize Science

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