Miraculous super-light super-strong nano-material
You must know it. Because it is made up of pure carbon.
It has the same atomic structure with diamond, which has the hardest natural structure.
It is like an old friend sits in the core of your pencil, that is graphite.
It is the base element of coal.
However, it is a futuristic material. It is a nano-material.
Yes, it is called graphene.
Graphene is a very thin layer of pure carbon. Each carbon atom has three neighbors. The lengths of these bonds are 0.142 nanometer each. These atomic connections form a honeycomb structure.
It is super thin. If you put one million graphene sheets on top of each other, the overall thickness will be less than a single sheet of paper.
It is lighter than a feather. One square meter of a graphene layer weighs only 0.77 milligrams.
But, on the contrary, it has a strength of 150 million psi, that is 100 times harder than steel.
Electrons move 200 times faster than silicon in it. So, it’s conductance is better than copper.
It behaves like a metal.
However, it is quite expensive yet. The average price is about $60 per square inch. But in near future it is expected to be manufactured with a cheaper price.
This super material has large usage areas. Here is a small list:
- Solar cells
- Transparent screens
- Camera sensors
- DNA sequencing
- Gas sensing
- Material strengthening
- Water desalination
- Smoke detectors
- Super capacitors
- Flash memories
When produced in economical prices, graphene can be used almost anywhere.
It will be one of the most important material in our future lives.