Graphene Will Change The World As We Know It

It has been called the miracle material of the 21st Century with the potential to change the world as we know it with its limitless space age applications. This “super material” is the thinnest & the strongest material known to mankind while being super flexible, super conductive, super light, transparent, a good thermal conductor, is highly impermeable and could eventually render the use of steels, copper, plastics and possibly even silicon obsolete.

Behold - GRAPHENE - a form of carbon which is the sixth most abundant element in the universe and the basis of all life we know. Graphene is one of several forms of carbon known as its “allotropes”. Graphene is two dimensional  one atom thick, single layered sheet of hexagonal lattice/arrangement offering huge promise for a host of applications from IT to Energy to Medicine. These amazing honeycomb lattice sheets of carbon can be wrapped up to create fullerenes that are shaped like a soccer ball or rolled to create nanotubes.

Discovery of graphene was announced in 2004 by the journal Science. Early work done on graphene by two Russian-born scientists at the University of Manchester, Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novosolev, earned them a shared Nobel Prize in 2010 and then knighthoods. Currently there is a huge hype surrounding this product. It is at the heart of a worldwide contest to exploit its properties and develop techniques to commercialise it. As of December 2012, there were over 7,350 patents on graphene, with 18 per cent of those filed in the previous 12 months, according to a study by the technology strategy company Cambridge IP.

Graphene is Thin - Million times thinner than a human hair
Graphene is Strong -  Stronger than Diamond, 200 times stronger than steel
Graphene is Flexible - More flexible than rubber
Graphene is Conductive - 100 X more conductive than copper
Graphene is Light Wheight - A square metre of graphene is thousand times thinner than paper weighing only 0.77 milligrams
Graphene is Transparent - As a plain glass
Graphene is Heat conductive - 4000 Wm–1K–1 as compared to 400 Wm–1K–1 of copper which is widely used to cool computer chips
Graphene is Impermeable - Not even allowing helium to pass through

Because of the multitude of its electronic, optical, chemical, thermal, and mechanical properties, Graphene can be applied in all particle applications from super small transistors, super dense data storage, super efficient energy storage, solar cells, flexible touchscreens, stronger device, bendable phones, longer battery life, better wireless signal, the list literally goes on and on.

-Graphene’s anti-bacterial qualities make it ideal for wound-dressings which can reduce the healing time as the relatively thin cell walls for most bacteria make their DNA vulnerable to breakdown in exchange of electrons with graphene. Research in China discovered that graphene is effective at killing E Coli bacteria, leading to suggestions for its use in hygiene products.

-Transistors built with graphene could potentially be hundreds or thousands of times faster than their silicon counterparts, and withstand even further miniaturization to gate lengths of just a few nanometers. Pure graphene transistors are theoretically capable of switching at terahertz frequencies and can convert a portion of heat-output back to electricity, making them cooler and more energy efficient.

-Graphene can improve the efficiency of solar cells. When a specially prepared sheet is struck by light of almost any wavelength, the material’s superconductive qualities convey the resulting temperature differential in the form of electricity.

-Engineers at Chicago’s Northwestern University have found that a specially-crafted graphene electrode can allow a lithium-ion battery to store ten times as much power and charge ten times faster and last longer, too.

-Graphene may be used in the production of next-generation electronic devices like flexible touch screens, photodetectors and ultrafast lasers. Large television sheets with flexible touchscreens have already been produced by Rice University with graphene. They can be stretched (due to graphene’s elastic properties) and laundered without damaging the electronic properties of the material.

-Researchers at Rice University and Lomonosov Moscow State University found that tiny bits of graphene oxide bind to radioactive contaminants, transforming them into large extractable clumps. Graphene based foams can also pick up smallest concentrations of the nitrates and ammonia.

-Scientists believe that passing seawater through graphene’s tiny pores, the crystal lattice could let water molecules through, while blocking out the atoms that make salt.

-Because graphene repels water and is highly conductive it can keep metals from oxidization.

-Graphene polymers produce a super-strong fibre that could be spun into fabric used to make super light and strong bulletproof vests. The same application can create many other strong and light weight products.
          -Airbus drew gasps at the Paris air show with its futuristic plane featuring transparent cabin wall membranes that allow passengers panoramic view, all of which can be accomplished by graphene.
          -Japanese engineers even claim it will have us reaching for the stars – transported in none other than a graphene-reinforced space elevator.

The bottom line is that for the first time in history, there is a technology that is so versatile it can actually be a game changer in most technologies we see today and entirely change the world as we know it.