Tuesday, 4 March 2014

material, graphene

Graphene is pure carbon in the form of a very thin, nearly transparent sheet, one atom thick. It is remarkably strong for its very low weight and it conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency.

 It's the thinnest material you can get -- it's only one atom thick. A tiny amount can cover a huge area, so one gram could cover a whole football pitch. It's the strongest material we are aware of because you can't slice it any further. Of course, we know that atoms can be divided into elementary particles, but you can't get any material that is thinner than one atom, or it wouldn't count as a material anymore.

Graphene is stronger than diamond; it shows extraordinary heat conductance; it conducts electricity a thousand times better than copper -- the list goes on. We're talking about probably 20 superlatives which apply to graphene. Another surprise is that you can just about see it with the naked eye, even though it's only one atom thick!

Graphene nanoribbons (also called nano-graphene ribbons or nano-graphite ribbons), often abbreviated GNRs, are strips of graphene with ultra-thin width (<50 nm). Graphene ribbons were originally introduced as a theoretical model by Mitsutaka Fujita and co-authors to examine the edge and nanoscale size effect in grapheme.

Just under ten years ago, the Dutch-British physicist Andre Geim stumbled across a substance that would revolutionize the way we understand matter and win him and his colleague Kostya Novoselow the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics. It was graphene -- a one atom thin substance. The Professor of Physics at Manchester University talks to CNN about discovering the first ever 2-dimensional material.


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