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Graphene

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Artist depiction of graphene

Graphene is a material that has amazing properties and is being researched by many scientists to find a viable means to mass produce it for the world to use. Graphene is carbon made of carbon atoms aligned each carbon on the inside of the compound has 3 neighbors, resulting in a hexagonal lattice. Graphene, being so perfect can carry electrons especially well, and being in an almost perfect lattice is theorized to be exponentially stronger than steel. Graphene can self-repair holes in its lattice when being bombarded with pure carbon atoms.[1] Graphene is called "free standing" which means that the layer of carbon is essentially isolated from the environment around it. In 2004 the National Graphene Institute announced to construct a Graphene Engineering Innovation Center in North East England to research more into graphene.


Properties

Graphene has tightly packed carbon atoms that allow for a stable and strong structure. Graphene is the only form of carbon or solid material in which every atom is available for chemical reaction from two sides. Atoms at the edge of a graphene sheet have special chemical reactivity. Defects in the graphene sheet increases chemical reactivity by creating a point for atoms to attach to. Stanford University reported that single layer graphene is 100 times more chemically reactive than larger sheets. Graphene, although strong if placed in large sheets, will fracture like creamics due to imperfections.

History

graphene wraped around to form tubes

The structure of graphite was first determined in 1916 by a German scientist. The theory of graphene was first explored by P. R. Wallace in 1947 who started the exploration of the electrical properties of 3D graphite. Starting in the 1970's Scientists began attempting separating graphite mechanically, but did not succeed past 50 layers until 2004. In 2004 Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov at The University of Manchester extracted atom thick layers from bulk graphite.[2] Geim and Novoselov received several awards for their experiment, including The Nobel Prize of Physics.

Uses

line model of the carbon atoms in graphene

Graphene is currently being researched to find different ways to use it. Many scientist and professors call it the "wonder material" as its uses are many and groundbreaking. Researchers at UCLA successfully created a graphene supercapacitor hybrid that could power an led for minutes [3] They have also manipulated it to have magnetic properties. Being in a honeycomb shape, a graphene film is extremely strong, it is estimated to be 200x stronger than steel.[4] It has also been thought to help with developing nanomedicine and bio-sensors. Biosensors could lead to heath monitoring systems that can show risk of cancer.[5] It has been formed into photosensitive sheets and made a hybrid with classic solar panels. [6]

Video

A brief video describing Graphene

References

  1. Multiple authors. [1] Nano Letters. Web. Published July 5, 2012.
  2. [2] University of Manchester. Unknown Author. Web. Month Day, Year. (specify whether it's the date of publication or last modified or accessed - i.e. Published November 3, 2015.)
  3. Mason Shaun. [3] UCLA. Web. Published April 01, 2015.
  4. [4] Graphene Info. Web. Unknown Author
  5. Multiple Authors. [5] IOP Publishing Ltd. Web. Published September 19, 2014.
  6. Multiple Authors. [6] Science Direct. Web. Last Modified August 11, 2016. (