How-to

How to understand what graphene is

How to understand what graphene is

We're going to be seeing a lot of this material in the near future. It has the potential to revolutionize technology in ways were just starting to imagine.

So I figured I'd make this guide to explain the basics of what graphene is. So when you start to see it in the near future you'll know what it is.

I'm going to just explain the basics of what it is in normal English. I won't use any technical terms. I'll just explain it as if I'm telling a friends about it.

In a nutshell. Graphene is a single atom thick sheet of graphite. So it's actually 2 dimensional because its only one atom thick. The only 2D man made material.

Graphene is the strongest material known to man. Just imagine a sheet one atom thick being strong enough to do what's illustrated in this image. That's how strong graphene is.

Graphene is the best conductive material. So electronics can be made very, very small. All the electronics in your phone could potentially fit in the head of a needle. It's also flexible.

It's also semi transparent. So because electronics can be made so small, flexible and transparent. This image is likely possible in the near future. Imagine carrying a PC on your wrist or in a wallet.

Mega-fast uploads are also theoretically possible. Just imagine uploading a whole terabit (1,000 Gigabits) in just one second!

Graphene can be used to make Supercapacitors that could potentially charge a cell phone from dead to full charge in about 5 seconds. Charge electric cars in just a couple hours.

And these Supercapacitors can actually be made with a DVD burner (search YouTube for "supercapacitor DVD burner" for more details).

One of the most amazing things about graphene is how it was discovered. They've known of graphene since the 1800's. But no one could figure out how to cut graphite one atom thick.

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 was awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene"

They used scotch tape to pull dust off a chunk of graphite. This left some graphite on the tape. They folded the tape in half. Then pulled it apart. They repeated this action over and over again.

Each fold and pull of the tape made the layer of graphite thinner and thinner until they ended up with a single atom layer sheet of graphite known as graphene.

You can actually make graphene right now. Draw some pencil lead on a sheet of paper. Stick the tape to it then pull it off. Then repeatedly fold and peal open the tape until its one atom thick.

Of course you won't be able to do anything with it because you'll only be able to create microscopic specks of graphene. But interesting to know how simple it is to make.

Electronics aren't the only use we'll see graphene used for. For example you'll be able to run sea water through it. It'll allow the water to pass through but not the salt or other particles.

Because its so light weight and so strong. It'll be used for a wide range of things such as armor and even buildings. There's just no limit to potential uses for graphene because of it's properties.

So why aren't we seeing graphene all over the place already? From what I understand they're still working on a way to mass produce it. But a search online tells me they're making lots of progress.

It's been estimated that we'll start to see graphene products on the market in the near future. But it'll likely not be till around 2030 that we'll see graphene widely used and available.

I'm just excited about the potential of this amazing material. So I'm just sharing my excitement with this guide. I hope you found it informative and exciting.


Watch the video: Reduced Graphene Oxide (December 2021).