Graphene: Miracle Substance that is the Strongest, Lightest and Best Electrical Conductor Ever Known

first_imgGraphene has the potential to become a super material.  While it  doesn’t occur naturally, it has some interesting properties.  It is only a one-atom thick lattice of carbon, but it has incredible strength and electrical conductivity properties.    In fact, it is 200 times stronger than steel.  It is unsurpassed in thermal conductivity and elasticity.  It is also the lightest material ever measured.  While it is impenetrable, it is very pliable and transparent.Despite the unique set of properties, scientists have known about graphene for more than a decade but have had time trying to practically use it.  But that’s beginning to change.Scientists have found that graphene can be mixed to make a composite that when used as a photodetector can convert infrared light into electrical signals.  Graphene photodetectors have the potential to speed up computers and help reduce computer power consumption.  The material has the potential to convert light into electricity tens or hundreds of times faster than other known materials.  The material will allow faster transmission of data than fiber optic.Recent work at Columbia University and in South Korea discovered that graphene could be used to create one-atom big light bulbs.  James Hone, researcher at Columbia University, said that “the reason both [graphene and tungsten] are used is because they survive very, very high temperatures.  There are only a few metals that survive up to such high temperatures, and tungsten was one of them. However, carbon is another. Carbon was actually used in Edison’s first lightbulbs. And graphene is just a very pure crystalline form of carbon.”Researchers are investigating how graphene can be combined with fiber to create smart textiles.  Helena Alves, graphene researcher at the University of Aveiro, said that “the concept of wearable technology is emerging, but so far having fully textile-embedded transparent and flexible technology is currently non-existing. Therefore, the development of processes and engineering for the integration of graphene in textiles would give rise to a new universe of commercial applications. ”last_img

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