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Graphine Material Science

Miracle Material Once Again Astounds Researchers

Shihaam Isaacs
Shihaam Isaacs Science

You may recall hearing something about a rather unique material by the name of graphene. Recall that graphene only first appeared back around the year 2004 when Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, of the University of Manchester published a paper outlining the rather astounding properties of this unusual material. Note that graphene is the first two-dimensional material ever discovered since the material is but a single atom thick.

First take a look at a quick review of the rather unusual properties of this material. Start with the fact that graphene is an astounding 200 times stronger than steel. Yet, perhaps even more amazing is the fact that even with that sort of built in strength, graphene is incredibly flexible. At the same time, don’t lose sight of the fact that it is the thinnest material known to mankind as mentioned above.

Two other features of graphene that you should know about include the property of transparency. In addition, the rather unusual atomic structure of graphene means that the material is the the perfect barrier. Get this, not even the smallest element, that of Helium can pass through a graphene barrier.

All of the above being said, it is the conductive properties of graphene that have been generating the most attention as of late. For example, newly published studies from the esteemed Vienna University of Technology point to the possibilities that are only just now starting to be understood.

In ground breaking work, Professor Fritz Aumayr and his research team clearly demonstrated the ability of electrons moving in graphene to be extremely mobile and extremely rapid in response. What does that mean in real world terms?

Think in the lines of extraordinarily high current carrying capacity. So high in fact, that this level of current could not be maintained under ordinary circumstances. You can readily understand that this means there quite a number of anticipated uses of graphene in the field of electronics.

Take for example the seemingly never ending quest for faster and faster electronic devices. The use of graphene materials is now seen as a viable technology to engineer and manufacture ultrafast electronic devices. Moreover, the unique properties of graphene also suggest that the material could function as well in the growing number of electronic and optical components.

Bottom line: the material that astounded the scientific community just a few short years ago is continuing to offer new possibilities. Stay tuned as this miracle material continues to find its way into real world technology.