Graphene : A Step Towards Advancement

Graphene is an allotrope of carbon in the form of a two-dimensional, atomic-scale, hexagonal lattice in which one atom forms each vertex. It is the basic structural element of other allotropes, including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. It can be considered as an indefinitely large aromatic molecule, the ultimate case of the family of flat polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

“Graphene” is a combination of “graphite” and the suffix -ene, named by Hanns-Peter Boehm, who described single-layer carbon foils in 1962.

File:Graphene and Dirac Cones.ogv

Graphene and its band structure and Dirac cones, effect of a grid on doping

Graphene has many unusual properties. It is about 200 times stronger than the strongest steel. It efficiently conducts heat and electricity and is nearly transparent.Graphene shows a large and nonlinear diamagnetism, greater than graphite and can be levitated by neodymium magnets.

Scientists have theorized about graphene for years. It has unintentionally been produced in small quantities for centuries, through the use of pencils and other similar graphite applications. It was originally observed in electron microscopes in 1962, but it was studied only while supported on metal surfaces. The material was later rediscovered, isolated, and characterized in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester. The research was informed by existing theoretical descriptions of its composition, structure, and properties. This work resulted in the two winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.”

The global market for graphene reached $9 million by 2012 with most sales in the semiconductor, electronics, battery energy, and composites industries.


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