Graphene is an allotrope of carbon which was originally observed in an electron microscope in 1962 and it was rediscovered and isolated in 2004. It is a single layer of graphite (carbon atoms) tightly bound in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Due to its significant properties and possible applications, it is also called “wonder material”.
Properties of graphene.
1. Electrical and thermal conductivity.
It is one of the best electrical conductors ever discovered. The unique arrangement of carbon atoms in graphene allows its electrons to easily travel at extremely high velocity without significant loss of energy. In the same manner it also the best conductor of heat which is useful in making better-LED lights, heat sinks, and many more.
2. Mechanical properties.
Graphene is the strongest and lightest material ever discovered. It is about 100 times strongest than the strongest steel and yet its density is dramatically lower than any steel. Graphene sheets are flexible, and in fact, graphene is the most stretchable crystal, you can stretch it up to 20% of its initial size without breaking it. An elephant standing on a pencil also cannotpenetrate a layer of graphene.
3. Optical properties.
Graphene is extremely thin, but it is still a visible material, as it absorbs about 2.3% of white light (which is quite a lot for a 2D material). Combine this with graphene’s amazing electronic properties and it turns out that graphene can theoretically be used to make very efficient solar cells.
Using such properties scientists and engineers have been researching various applications of graphene in different fields Well here are some interesting applications that will revolutionize the future in the industrial, electrical, and electronic world.
Uses of graphene.
1. Graphene battery.
Using graphene we can develop high capacity, fast charging, lightweight, long-lasting, high-temperature range batteries as compared to existing batteries. In addition to revolutionizing the battery market, the combined use of graphene batteries and graphene supercapacitors could yield amazing results, like the noted concept of improving the electric cars driving range and efficiency. While graphene batteries have not yet reached widespread commercialization, battery breakthrough has been reported throughout the world. Graphene power banks are available in markets and Samsung has been progressively improving its battery capacity using graphene.
2. Transistors and computer chips.
Graphene could replace copper interconnects which will help to create faster, lighter, smaller, more flexible, more reliable, and more cost-effective integrated circuits. Due to the reduced size of copper, it generates more heat reducing their current carrying capacity. Graphene can solve such a problem to make our computers faster.
3. Water purification.
Graphene can be used to purify water more safely and at a very low cost than existing methods. Graphene’s small weight and size can contribute to making a lightweight, energy-efficient, and environmentally-friendly generation of water filters and desalinators. It is also can be use for manufacturing heavy water in effective way which is use to cool reactors in nuclear power plant. It can be use to distill ethanol effectively even at room temprature.
4. Sound system.
Graphene can be used to make better speakers. Instead of physically moving a component, this process works by using graphene to periodically vary the temperature of the air at a very high rate — enough to generate sound at audible frequencies and much higher, ultrasonic frequencies. The result could be the ability to incorporate speakers into ultrathin touchscreen technologies, in which the screen can produce sound on its own. No separate speakers required.
The properties of graphene are still being studied and its use in different fields is being experimented. So we can expect more uses of graphene.Some other uses of graphene are as follows.
- Treatment of cancer.
- Helmets and tires.
- Radiation shielding
However, productions and large scale manufacture of graphene are still challenging as scientists and engineers are still searching for a better and low-cost method of manufacturing graphene. Several products made from graphene are already available in the market and more products will be soon available.
The possibilities of what we can achieve with the materials and knowledge we have have been blown wide open, and it is now conceivable to imagine such amazing prospective situations as lightning-fast, yet super-small computers, invisibility cloaks, smartphones that last weeks between charges, and computers that we can fold up and carry in our pockets wherever we go. Let’s hope for a better future.