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28.08.2022 02:08

Graphene – what is it, what are its properties and revolutionary use

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What exactly is graphene and what are its properties? Is graphene a material that will revolutionize the industry? In this text, you will learn about the latest information on graphene. Check what you should know about graphene.

Graphene – What Is It Exactly? Basic Definition of Graphene

What is graphene? It is a material that is gaining popularity, which is a flattened form of carbon arranged in cubic structures. The structure of graphene resembles characteristic honeycombs. 

In the construction of graphene, one atom makes up each vertex in the structure. Graphene is primarily an element of the structure of other carbon derivatives, including, inter alia, carbon nanotubes, fullerenes and charcoal. The thickness of this material is literally one atom, which is why graphene belongs to two-dimensional forms. 

There has been some speculation about the possibility of obtaining graphene since the 1940s. It was then that the first theoretical description of this material was prepared by Philip Russell Wallace. However, due to the two-dimensionality of graphene, it was considered that this type of material could not function in nature.

Graphene - what exactly is it - structure
Graphene can lead to a revolution in many areas of life

The breakthrough took place only at the beginning of the 21st century and it was related, inter alia, to the development of technology and methodology of scientific research. Who Invented Graphene? Andrei Gejm and Konstantin Novosiolov from the University of Manchester were officially recognized as the discoverers of graphene, who made it in 2004. 

Currently, graphene can be obtained by micro-mechanical action. It is a very durable and innovative material that can even replace silicon in modern industry. Perhaps in some time, instead of the silicon valley, we will talk about the graphene valley. Europe has a very large share in the invention and production of graphene.

Related: What is the mass of Earth? How was the weight of our planet calculated?

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Properties of Graphene

Graphene is a desirable material because of its characteristics. The properties and application of graphene in the modern world may completely revolutionize the science and technologies that we know at the moment. It is worth noting that the electrons in graphene move up to 200 times faster than in the case of silicon. 

This property may prove decisive in the construction of modern and breakthrough electron devices. The speed of electrons in graphene is 1/300 the speed of light. 

Graphene is also a very good heat conductor and has a relatively low resistance. Another characteristic feature of graphene is its almost transparent color. One atom thick graphene absorbs approximately 2.3% of white light. 

Another property of graphene is its durability. According to current research, it is over 100 times stronger than a steel particle of the same thickness. The strength of graphene goes hand in hand with its unique flexibility, because the graphene structure can be stretched by up to 20%. 

It is also worth paying attention to the fact that oxidized graphene and the membrane formed from it are impermeable to gasses, even helium. On the other hand, this membrane is fully water permeable. This means that graphene can potentially be used on a large scale for filtration, for example in the food industry. 

Graphene - what exactly is it - materials
Materials with graphene can boast unusual properties

Application of graphene in practice – can graphene revolutionize the world?

Graphene is undoubtedly a material that has the potential to revolutionize the world in many areas. Its use can be very wide. The potential of using graphene in modern technology is influenced by such aspects as filtering properties, strength and flexibility of a material with a two-dimensional structure. 

First of all, graphene in many areas can replace silicon, which would revolutionize modern science. For some time now, tests have been carried out to verify the functionality and performance of a graphene transistor, which may be even many times faster than the models we know today. 

The flexibility and strength of graphene can be used, inter alia, in the production of touch displays that are wrapped in a roll. Graphene can also be an additive to plastics that can be successfully transformed into conductors of electricity. Graphene can also be combined with aluminum and in such a combination can be used to produce modern and efficient energy networks. 

The great potential for the use of graphene is noticed in the renewable energy sector, where it can be used to produce energy-saving light sources and to produce energy from solar batteries, and at the same time to store it in efficient and effective batteries.

Poles and graphene – discovery, plans of Polish companies

Contribution to Polish science has discovered and revolutionized the methods of producing graphene. The key date is 2011, when the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology together with the Faculty of Physics of the University of Warsaw confirmed the development of a modern technology for obtaining large sheets of very high quality graphene. 

Four years later, in 2015, the Lodz University of Technology officially unveiled its device that is used to produce graphene from the liquid phase. Thanks to this, it is possible to produce large-area graphene desires with high properties. The HSMG technology was patented in the European Union and the USA in 2016. Obtaining graphene thanks to this technology is highly effective.

Although Poles contributed greatly to the creation of graphene acquisition technology, Polish companies have lagged behind in recent years. At the moment, the graphene market is growing steadily and is worth billions, with China and the United States leading the way. It depends on the reaction of Polish companies whether we also join in building a strong position on this market. 

The Polish leader in research on graphene and the production of graphene products is the Institute of Electronic Materials Engineering. Polish graphene products include a graphene sheet measuring 50×50 centimeters, which went on sale in 2017 and was the first Polish graphene intermediate in official sales. 

electronics
Electronics can do much better thanks to the use of graphene

Graphene in the future – the latest information on graphene

There is a bright future ahead of graphene. Currently, a lot is being said about its potential in the medical sector. The Polish start-up Heart Sense has developed a graphene probe to help in cardiological operations. The device will be used to read the ECG signal from the heart level. 

Another interesting application of graphene is folding it into several layers, thanks to which this structure can be used to create a thousand times more efficient microprocessors than those we know today. This is another area that the material can revolutionize.

The current research on graphene is very advanced and in the near future this material may revolutionize our world and the state of current science. Its value is constantly growing and at this point the market is valued at many billions of dollars. 

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Graphene - what is it exactly - phones
If smartphones look completely different in a few years, the use of graphene will probably contribute to it
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