What is graphene? Here’s what you need to know about a material that could be the next silicon
Graphene, an emerging material that could change the way electronic components are made and help computing performance continue to grow, is everywhere in the research world these days.
Carbon is an incredibly versatile element. Depending on how atoms are arranged, it can produce hard diamonds or soft graphite. Graphene’s flat honeycomb pattern grants it many unusual characteristics, including the status of strongest material in the world. Columbia University mechanical engineering professor James Hone once said it is “so strong it would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap,” according to the university.
Graphene’s special properties don’t stop with weird physics. It’s also:
- Conductive: Electrons are the particles that make up electricity. So when graphene allows electrons to move quickly, it is allowing electricity to move quickly. It is known to move electrons 200 times faster than silicon because they travel with such little interruption. It is also an excellent heat conductor. Graphene is conductive independent of temperature and works normally at room temperature.
- Strong: As mentioned earlier, it would take an elephant with excellent balance to break through a sheet of graphene. It is very strong due to its unbroken pattern and the strong bonds between the carbon atoms. Even when patches of graphene are stitched together, it remains the strongest material out there.
- Flexible: Those strong bonds between graphene’s carbon atoms are also very flexible. They can be twisted, pulled and curved to a certain extent without breaking, which means graphene is bendable and stretchable.
- Transparent: Graphene absorbs 2.3 percent of the visible light that hits it, which means you can see through it without having to deal with any glare.
Read more: http://gigaom.com/20...e-next-silicon/
Edited by -Wade-, July 15, 2013 - 10:01 AM.