What is Graphene?
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon, consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice nanostructure. The name derives from "graphite" and the suffix: -ene, reflecting the fact that the graphite allotrope of carbon contains many double bonds.
Each atom in the graphene sheet is bonded to its three closest neighbors by a strong sigma bond, forming a valence band with an electron stretching across the entire sheet. This is the same type of bonding seen in carbon nanotubes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and (in part) in fullerenes and glass carbons. The valence band contacts the conduction band, making graphene a semi-metal with unusual electronic properties best described by the theory of massless relativistic particles. Charge carriers in graphene show a linear rather than quadratic dependence of energy on momentum, and field-effect transistors with graphene can be made to show bipolar conduction. Charge transport is ballistic transport over long distances; The material exhibits large quantum oscillations and large nonlinear diamagnetism. Graphene conducts heat and electricity very efficiently along its plane. The material strongly absorbs light at all visible wavelengths, which explains the black color of graphite; However, because of their extreme thinness, individual graphene sheets are almost transparent. The material is also about 100 times stronger than the strongest steel of the same thickness.
Graphene is a valuable and useful nanomaterial because of its extremely high tensile strength, electrical conductivity, transparency, and the thinnest two-dimensional material in the world. The global graphene market was $9 million in 2012, with much of the demand coming from semiconductor, electronics, battery, and composite research and development.
What is graphene used for and why?
Graphene is the strongest material in the world and can be used to strengthen other materials. Dozens of researchers have shown that adding even trace amounts of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make those materials stronger or lighter (because you can use a small amount of material to achieve the same strength).
Such graphene-reinforced composites could find uses in aerospace, building materials, mobile devices, and many other applications.
Graphene is the most thermally conductive material ever found. Due to graphene's high strength and lightweight, this means it is an excellent material for creating cooling solutions such as fins or membranes. This is useful both for microelectronics, such as making LED lighting more efficient and durable, and for larger applications, such as hot foils for mobile devices.
Because graphene is the thinnest material in the world, it also has an extremely high surface-to-volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material for batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene could allow batteries and supercapacitors (and even fuel cells) to store more energy and charge more quickly.
Graphene has promising applications in other fields: anticorrosive coatings and coatings, efficient and accurate sensors, faster and more efficient electronics, flexible displays, efficient solar panels, faster DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and more.
Compare graphene VS graphite
In very basic terms, graphene can be described as a single-atom-thick layer of the common mineral graphite; Graphite is essentially made up of hundreds of thousands of layers of graphene.
Graphite is the crystalline form of the element carbon. It consists of stacked layers of graphene. Graphite is naturally occurring and is the most stable form of carbon under standard conditions. Synthetic and natural graphite is widely consumed in pencils, lubricants, and electrodes. At high pressure and temperature, it turns into diamonds.
Graphite is an impressive mineral with many excellent and outstanding properties, including excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, and the highest natural stiffness and strength even at temperatures over 3600 ° C, it is also highly resistant to chemical corrosion and self-lubricity.
Graphene is essentially a single layer of graphite; A layer of sp2 bonded carbon atoms is arranged in a honeycomb (hexagonal) lattice. However, graphene offers some impressive properties that go beyond those of graphite because it is isolated from its "parent material". Graphite is naturally a very brittle compound and, due to its pure flat surface, cannot be used as a structural material alone (although it is often used to reinforce steel). Graphene, on the other hand, is the strongest material ever recorded, more than 300 times stronger than A36 structural steel, at 130 Gigapascals, and more than 40 times stronger than diamond.
Because of graphite's planar structure, its thermal, acoustic, and electronic properties are highly anisotropic, meaning that phonons can travel more easily along the plane than when trying to cross it. Graphene, on the other hand, is a monolayer atom with very high electron mobility, providing an excellent level of electron conduction due to the presence of a free PI (π) electron in each carbon atom.
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