Why does Graphene have so much potential?techi
Steel might be durable, and diamond might be tough, but graphene is stronger, more robust and immensely lightweight too. Graphene is one of the most wonderful artificially-crafted materials known to man today. It has properties that are impressive and unique to it. The diverse range of unusual properties makes graphene an incredibly useful material in numerous industrial sectors.
Basic but Amazing Facts about Graphene
Graphene is not called the “wonder material” for nothing. It is essential to know the unique and impressive properties of graphene to understand its immense and diverse potential.
These are some surprising facts about graphene to give you an idea of its impressive potential and existing applications.
Carbon allotrope – Graphene is an allotrope of carbon. It consists of carbon atoms forming an sp-2 bond with a molecule bond length of around 0.142 nm.
Single-atom thick – Graphene has a 2D structure, similar to a sheet. It made of carbon atoms connected in a hexagonal manner to form a honeycomb-like structure. There are multi-layered forms of graphene also available – bi-layer graphene, multi-layer graphene and many more.
Thinnest material – Graphene is the thinnest human-made material. It also makes graphene the lightest material known. A 1-square meter sheet of graphene weighs a mere 0.0077 grams.
Highest tensile strength – Graphene, despite being the lightest and thinnest material is powerful when it comes to tensile strength. For example, a sheet of graphene that weighs less than 0.008 grams can successfully support a weight of 4,000 grams (4 kg).
Extremely strong – Graphene has been tested for its strength and is reported to be 300 times stronger than the most robust industrial-grade steel.
Completely transparent – Graphene is only an atom-thick which makes it practically transparent. This property is of high potential in the optics industry.
Electrical conductor – Graphene, thanks to its uniquely-arranged carbon atom, consists of 1 free electron. That makes graphene an excellent conductor of electricity. Graphene is considered to be an excellent replacement for conventional electrical conductors, such as copper. Tests have shown graphene to have an electrical current density which is over six times that of copper.
Thermal conductivity – Graphene can withstand extremely high temperatures, despite being thinner than the human hair. It makes graphene an excellent thermal conductor as well.
Now that you know the unique and unusual properties of graphene let us show you, in brief, the existing and future uses of graphene in industries.
Potential of Graphene
The peculiar properties of graphene have given it immense potential for use in industries across the spectrum. Check out some of the most recent and future applications and potential uses of graphene:
● Power storage – Graphene is set to revolutionize battery storage capacities and charge batteries faster too. Recently, Samsung revealed it is working on an innovative graphene-based battery. The patent details in the US and South Korea affirm that the graphene-based battery can store 45% more power. These revolutionary batteries are also set to charge completely in only 12 minutes.
● Data storage – The simple yet effective structure of graphene makes it excellent for use in data storage units as well. These will have immensely faster flash memories than conventional data storage units.
● Tools – Graphene, being lightweight yet immensely strong, can be useful in making machines compact, lighter yet as efficient as ever.
● Sports – Numerous sports equipment can be improved impressively be replacing the carbon-fiber base with graphene, which is even lighter yet infinitely stronger in comparison.
● Touchscreen – Graphene is set to revolutionize touchscreen technology, thanks to its impressive optic properties. Being practically transparent, extremely strong and having remarkable electric conductivity, graphene is ideal for use in touchscreen devices and smartphones shortly.
● Biosensors – Graphene has immense potential for use in advanced bio-medical sensors. It can efficiently measure a patient’s cholesterol levels, blood sugar range, and even their DNA. Research has shown graphene to be extremely useful in making medical equipment to administer intravenous medications too.
● Supercapacitors – Graphene-based capacitors can even replace conventional batteries to an extent to making them redundant.
● Waterproofing – Graphene is extremely thin yet durable and is effective for use in water-proof coatings for industrial machinery and even aircraft and ocean liners.
● Water purification – The fragile structure and uniform nature of the connection between its carbon atoms makes graphene excellent for use as a water filter.
Apart from these, there are other obscure yet essential applications and potential uses of graphene. Immense research is being done all over the world on this wonder material. Soon, we can expect to see graphene replace many conventionally superior materials and become essential for technological development.