Graphene is known as a super material that’s been making a lot of buzz in many industries these days. It’s dubbed as the 21st century’s greatest discovery and the thinnest element ever obtained. Learn more about it below.
What It Is
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern. It’s only one atom thick, yet it’s considered as the world’s strongest material. It’s harder than diamonds and tougher than steel but is also malleable. It has excellent thermal, electrical, chemical, mechanical, and magnetic properties.
These characteristics explain why a lot of scientists are fascinated with graphene, believing in the wonder material’s probable limitless applications.
One process of mass-producing high-quality graphene is CVD or chemical vapor deposition. It involves using a specialized machine where methane and solid graphite are deposited. These materials will be heated, causing a heterogeneous reaction. Once the heating is done, a film-like material will form on the substrate.
After that, the product will undergo a process called transfer of graphene. Here, a chosen substrate – mostly copper – is placed inside the equipment. This will provide a supporting surface to the graphite particles.
These methods allow manufacturers to produce graphene in huge quantities by combining a single layer of graphite with a large amount of substrate. They’re commonly used because the finished product is of higher quality compared to ones developed through other techniques.
Scientists are experimenting on graphene to make batteries more durable and better in transferring power. As a superconductor, it transmits electricity with minimal loss of energy.
With this, companies can now create a fast-charging graphene-based battery for a variety of gadgets and machines. Potentially, you can even charge mobile phones in a matter of minutes instead of hours.
Graphene is the hardest material known today. Scientists believe it has enough strength to potentially stop a speeding bullet. Working alongside ballistics experts, they hope to develop an ultrathin bulletproof clothing.
Since graphene is as light as a foil, several layers of it can be easily added to a garment. It’s the perfect material for making a bulletproof armor much more comfortable.
A lot of manufacturers these days are incorporating graphene into the cars they’re building, hoping that someday, it could replace steel. Automobile companies are starting to experiment with it to create the body of the vehicle, making the frame lighter and more durable. The unit will keep its shape better and protect the driver and passengers in a collision.
Through CVD and graphene transfer, it’s only a matter of time before companies start using the super material to mass-produce these items and more.