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 pretty exciting and is getting a lot of hype - especially since the 2010 Nobel prize in physics went to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who first isolated Graphene in 2004. Manchester City is quite proud of this discovery and they produced a nice video introducing graphene, its discovery and applications:
Here's another great video by Dr. Jonathan Hare (who runs the creative science center in Sussex, UK) introducing graphene: