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Graphene - Will This Be The Next Wonder Material?


Alfrescian (Inf)
Let us discuss.

So what is graphene?

According to scientists graphene is the strongest material ever measured!

“It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of cling film.”
said Columbia University Engineering Professor James Hone; continuing, "Our research establishes graphene as the strongest material ever measured, some 200 times stronger than structural steel."
(emphasis added) Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/9491789.stm

A graphene sheet is only one atom thick, so it takes 3 million sheets on top of each other to be the thickness of one millimeter!
It is so strong because it is made of Carbon atoms double-bonded together in a lattice.

Due to graphene's nature, it can comfortably stretch 20% of it's length/width. It can also conduct electricity better than copper wire! oh ya... and it's invisible! (see through) but scientists are discovering some very weird things about this wonder sheet!

Before we get into the anomalies and serious science let's take a look at...

What is graphene used for?

So we have the strongest material ever measured, 300,000 times thinner than the average human hair, it's see-through, and conducts electricity.... what would you make?

Some things created so far are a transistor and Integrated Circuit, by IBM scientists/Engineers.

A company called Nanotrons has been working with nanotech since 2009 and has created "Conductive nanopaint" that is a spray on ultra-thin conductor of electricity as well as many other applications for graphene:
Applications (from Nanotrons website)
Protective Structural Materials (as Nanofillers and Nanocomposites)
Fuel (Cryogenic) Tanks
EM Shielding
Blast mitigation
Ballistic/fragment protection
Engine and turbine components
Protective Elastomer components
Transparent Conductive Film
Organic Photovoltaic cells
Organic light emitting diodes
Sensors & Catalysts
Liquid Crystal Displays
Conductive films
Energy Storage and Electric Devices
Li-ion batteries
Integrated circuits
Electrochromic devices
Field-effect transistors
E-papers & Conductive inks
Anti-microbial, Chemical, & Thermal
Anti-bacterial paper
Air & water purification
Chemical and explosive detecting sensors
Thermal management and interfacial materials
Microbial detection and diagnosis devices

ACS Material is also working extensively with graphene.
ACS Material's graphene nanoplatelets can be used to increase tensil strength of basic materials, improve "stiffness, corrosion resistance, abrasion resistance and anti-static electricity and lubricant properties."

so companies are already working with this product some of us have never heard of! Graphene alone could be responsible for major changes in the way we live our lives!

Scientists are discovering some VERY WEIRD things about graphene! It seems to be laden with hidden anomalies and characteristics we couldn't have predicted. I can't seem to find the source but I've read that under various electrical fields graphene either reflects light or takes it in... meaning it can be a mirror or an invisible sheet depending on how we treat it.


Graphene seems to just be a sheet of double-bonded carbon atoms and I guess we'd expect it would just be a strong sheet of non-reactive atoms... but it's not.
We've worked with materials made of only carbon atoms before without such anomalies:

In 1947 graphene (not by that name) was postulated but expected to be impossible to create.
in 1985 something called "Bucky balls" (or Buckminsterfullerenes ) were created; they are a sphere of Carbon atoms double-bonded together. (see pic below)
Shortly after we created bucky tubes, or Carbon nanotubes, that were strong enough to hold a satelite in orbit and smaller than a human hair.

In 2004 Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov and their teams demonstrated that single layers of graphene could be isolated, resulting in the award of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010!


Now that we've been working with graphene across the globe for a few years now we're finding a lot of anomalies, such as this one described in ATS thread Graphene Bubbles have Bizarre magnetic properties, by Gentill Abdulla (source: Science Daily)
The bizarre magnetic affects include rapid vibration of the Carbon atoms that could speculatively be used in many applications such as particle accelerators, scanning devices, and possibly even levitation!

also, one final link and the story that prompted this thread... http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-graphene-intense-laser-pulses.html

Researchers from Singapore and the UK have jointly announced a new benchmark in broadband, non-linear optical-limiting behavior using single-sheet graphene dispersions in a variety of heavy-atom solvents and film matrices.
Thanks for your post. It was very interesting. I like that list of possible uses. Recently I have read something similar. Graphene is indeed a very impressive material. Last article I found was about a way to stop a bullet using a single graphene layer. :smile: