Graphene All You Ever Wanted To Know – 2012

Graphene All You Ever Wanted To Know - 2012Some articles, and series, are just too good not to share. This interesting one by Lucy Sherriff at ZDNet fits that bill. While the new 21st century super material still has a long way to go from lab to commercial products, available in stores, car dealerships, solar cells, batteries and the like, it’s a little too easy to think that graphene products are already in the pipeline, graphene and our new carbon age will make a lifestyle altering difference in the next decade.

For now, we must still research all of the many properties of  graphene and how best to produce graphene, and to materials handle it cost effectively.  There’s a whole world of research to be made into how best to integrate graphene into existing products, where that makes more sense than reinventing the wheel from scratch.  Then there is the whole field of researching how graphene can be used in combination with other elements, and the giant technology advance that will also bring. Thankfully this last will likely be greatly speeded up, once the world gets access to quantum computers, and the next generation computational simulation experiments they will usher in.

The 10 strangest facts about graphene
When first discovered, graphene was odd. Now odd is too small a word for a material seemingly set on winning all the records a material can win

When first discovered, graphene was odd. Now odd is too small a word for a material seemingly set on winning all the records a material can win.

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In the first part of our series, we looked at what graphene is and how it was discovered. In part two, we explored the different techniques we can use to make graphene.

But what is it that makes this material so remarkable? Here are 10 of the strangest facts about graphene.

1. Strength

"The most amazing thing to me about graphene is its strength. This is a sheet of atoms that you can pick up. That blows my mind."

So says Professor James (Jim) Tour of Rice University in Texas, and who are we to argue with that? A sheet of atoms that you can pick up: say it out loud to yourself a couple of times.

Everyone you ask about graphene's amazing properties says the same thing: it is really hard to pick one feature when the material is so astonishing. So let's consider a few more of them.

2. No band gap

Graphene has no band gap. A band gap is the gap between the energy of an electron when it is bound to an atom, and the so-called conduction band, where it is free to move around. An electron can't have an energy level between those two states.
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