Graphene: The Wonder Material

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October 22, 2004 wasn’t a particularly special day for Andre Geim and his colleague Kostyz Novoselov. Previously, a student had tried to separate graphite into ten or even one hundred layers but only succeeded in obtaining a specimen of one thousand layers. Then Geim had the brilliant idea of using Scotch tape to peel off individual layers of graphite. Geim and Kostyz took pieces of tape and manually separated the graphite until one layer remained (Lucibella 2). After hours of work and several pieces of tape with thin pieces of graphite on them, the final step was ready (Fuente). The tape was dissolved in a solution, leaving behind a thin flake on the surface of the solution. A substance previously unknown to mankind was created (Lucibella 2). This amazing material was named graphene. It is a sheet of atoms that can be picked up (Sheriff). Surprisingly, it resembles a honeycomb; the crystal lattice is composed solely of hexagons (Berger). Graphene is highly versatile, it has many interesting properties and it can be used in various electrical and medical applications. All forms of carbon can be represented by graphene. Graphite is stacked graphene. Buckyballs (carbon spheres) are just bent graphene. Even the famous carbon nanotubes can be made by rolling graphene into a cylinder (Berger). Basically, no known material compares to graphene. “Graphene has a high specific surface area (2630 square meters per gram), exceptional electrical conductivity (mobility of charge carriers at 200,000 square centimeters per Volt-second), great thermal conductivity (5000 watts per Kelvin-meter), and awesome mechanical strength (Young’s modulus 1100 Gigapascals)” (Shen et al). Graphene conducts heat better than any material, even metal or diamond.... ... middle of paper ... ... Transparent Graphene and Boron-Nitride Films." Metalgrass Software, 02 Sept. 2012. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. Hyperlink Patel, Prachi. "Writing Circuits on Graphene." MIT Technology Review. MIT Technology Review, 15 June 2010. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. Hyperlink Shen, He, Liming Zhang, Min Liu, and Zhijun Zhang. "Biomedical Applications of Graphene." Theranostics. Ivyspring International Publisher, 2012. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. Hyperlink Sheriff, Lucy. "The 10 Strangest Facts About Graphene." ZDNet. CBS Interactive, 10 June 2011. Web. 12 Feb. 2014. Hyperlink Urquhart, James. "Graphene Speaks Volumes." Chemistry World. Royal Society of Chemistry, 26 Sept. 2012. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. Hyperlink Warner, Jamie H., Franziska Schaffel, Mark Rummeli, and Alicja Bachmatiuk. Graphene: Fundamentals and Emergent Applications. Burlington, 17 Nov. 2012. Print. 21 Feb. 2014. Hyperlink
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