Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is the building-block of Graphite (which is used, among others things, in pencil tips), but graphene is a remarkable substance on its own - with a multitude of astonishing properties which repeatedly earn it the title “wonder material”.
Graphene is the thinnest material known to man at one atom thick, and also incredibly strong - about 200 times stronger than steel. On top of that, graphene is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and has interesting light absorption abilities. It is truly a material that could change the world, with unlimited potential for integration in almost any industry.
Graphene is an extremely diverse material, and can be combined with other elements (including gases and metals) to produce different materials with various superior properties. Researchers all over the world continue to constantly investigate and patent graphene to learn its various properties and possible applications, which include:
- touchscreens (for LCD or OLED displays)
- computer chips
- energy generation
- DNA sequencing
- water filters
- solar cells
- Spintronics-related products
Graphene is an exciting material that is getting a lot of attention - especially since the 2010 Nobel prize in physics went to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who first isolated Graphene in 2004.
Graphene is indeed very exciting, but producing it is not easy, especially if you are aiming towards high-quality sheets. Several companies are producing Graphene today in small volumes (most companies are using CVD based processes), and there's a lot of research going into developing new ways to mass produce the material in an affordable manner.
Most of the graphene produced today is used for R&D in Universities and companies. Some graphene based products are entering the market, but mass production of graphene hasn't been achieved yet.
Several companies offer graphene and graphene based products. You may check our list of graphene related companies to find a company that offers the products you need.
In December 2011 Vorbeck Materials said that the Siren anti-theft packaging device, which uses their graphene-based Vor-Ink circuitry (shown below) has started shipping - and this was the world's first commercially available product that is based on graphene.
Today there are several more graphene products on the market. In January 2013 HEAD started shipping a new range of tennis rackets (called YouTek Graphene Speed series) that are coated with graphene. In February 2013 Cabot Corporation launched the LITX G700, a graphene-based additive for high energy density lithium-ion batteries.
In 2014, A Spanish company called Catlike launched a line of cycling helmets called Mixino 2014, enhanced with graphene. These helmets are said to be light and strong, and offer major improvements in the field of safety and impact absorption.
In November 2016, A graphene oxide (GO) sensor co-developed by the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors group was added to the list products offered by Biolin Scientific, a prestigious instrumentation company devoted to the production of analytical devices. The Q-Sense GO sensor enables interaction studies of GO with various analytes (measured substances) of interest and may open the door to various applications with interest for diagnostics, safety/security and environmental monitoring.
In December 2016, San Diego-based Nanomedical Diagnostics, established in late 2013 to develop cutting-edge diagnostics equipment, started shipping its graphene-based sensors and the AGILE R100 system which allows for real-time detection of small molecules - with no lower size limit. Nanomedical's graphene-based sensors enable faster sample processing, greater accuracy, portability and cost savings.
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