What is graphene?

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Graphene refers to a material composed of carbon atoms that bond together to form hexagonal rings that are connected with each other. This allotrope of carbon atoms bonding together produces a very thin sheet of material which is even thinner than paper. When observed microscopically, the hexagonal rings which are inter-connected with each other look like chicken wire or a honeycomb in sheet form. This pattern of the carbon atoms in graphene has earned it the label of being the strongest material in this planet.

The study about graphene first started back in the 1940s. Using graphite as the main material for experiments, people in the science community tested graphite in terms of altering the arrangement and structure of the carbon molecules. Over several decades, scientists were finally able to isolate graphene and discovered that it is very thin and considered the material as only two-dimensional. Graphite was literally peeled off layer by layer over several years of experiments until a single layer of carbon atoms was isolated to become what is now known as graphene.

Graphene was considered a great discovery in the field of science and nanotechnology. The structure of the carbon atoms makes the material very strong considering its very light weight. Graphene is also considered as a very good conductor of heat and electricity. This property made graphene a great potential for the electronics industry. Graphene is even said to conduct electricity at a rate that is 200 times faster than silicon fibers. Graphene sheets are also highly flexible making it ideal for creating carbon nanotubes and other materials. The basic lead pencil is considered the most basic use of graphene. Graphene sheets are stacked to make it thick and become pencil lead. In other applications, graphene is also used in the creation of semiconductors for solar panels and transistors for use in computer processing chips. The desirable properties of graphene make many people in the scientific community excited about its potential for various commercial purposes or applications.