What is Graphene?
The most ingenious way to explain graphene is that it is a single, thin layer of graphite, the soft, flaky material used in pencil lead. Graphite is an allotrope of the element carbon, meaning it holds the same atoms but they’re transposed in a different way, giving the material different properties. For example, both diamond and graphite are forms of carbon, yet they have wildly different natures. Diamonds are incredibly strong, while graphite is brittle. Graphene’s atoms are arranged in a hexagonal arrangement. Graphene is an allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice. The name is a portmanteau of “graphite” and the suffix -ene, reflecting the fact that the graphite allotrope of carbon consists of stacked graphene layers.
When graphene is isolated from graphite it takes on some miraculous properties. It is a mere one-atom thick, the first two-dimensional material ever discovered. Despite this, graphene is also one of the strongest materials in the known universe. With a tensile strength of 130 gigapascals, its more than 100 times stronger than steel.
Graphene’s ridiculous strength notwithstanding being so thin is already enough to make it amazing, however, its unique properties do not end there. It is also flexible, translucent, highly conductive, and seemingly impermeable to most gases and liquids. It almost seems as though there is no area in which graphene does not excel.
A Rear View Look
Graphite has been a known quantity for a long time. Its atomic structure is well documented, and for a long time, scientists pondered whether single layers of graphite could be isolated. Until recently, however, graphene was only a theory, as scientists were uncertain if it would ever be possible to slice graphite down to a single, atom-thin sheet. The first isolated sample of graphene was discovered in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester. One might presume that they isolated the fabled substance-using some massive, expensive piece of machinery, but the tool they used was simple: A roll of scotch tape.
The Future of Graphene
Potential Uses of Graphene
- Ultra-Fast charging of batteries.
- Collection of radioactive waste for easier clean-up.
- Faster flash memory.
- Stronger and better-balanced tools and sporting equipment, such as tennis racquets.
- Ultra-thin touchscreens that can be pasted onto a non-breakable material.
- Graphene-based e-paper that can update with new information.
- Quick and efficient biosensor devices 200, to measure blood glucose, cholesterol, and possibly your DNA
- Headphones with phenomenal frequency response.
- Supercapacitors that essentially make batteries obsolete.
- Novel waterproof coatings.
- Bendable batteries.
- Stronger and lighter aircraft and amour.
- Aiding tissue regeneration.
- Purifying salt water into drinking water.
- Bionic devices that can connect directly to your body’s neurons.
The Grand Scheme
One of our understanding is that no business is too small or too big. We have a team of tried and tested Directors, full-proof founders of some of the biggest companies worldwide, International and Commercial Law experts with experience in the various facet of the Corporate world. Despite having deep scientific and engineering resources, many large products companies have only a basic understanding of the differences between graphene materials and are challenged to distinguish between producers. We expect a small number of graphene producers to occupy the very high volume, low price, graphene as a commodity niche. We project that the most successful graphene businesses will involve at least some vertical integration or value-added Intermediary products, if not fully integrated solutions (i.e. not selling graphene but instead, selling graphene-enhanced solutions or products.)