Inventive materials: graphene
Even the most simple methods can produce astonishing results
After experimenting with graphite – the type you find in pencil lead – and everyday sellotape, physicists announced their discovery of a new material, graphene. This extremely basic apparatus led Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, the discoverers of graphene, to a potentially revolutionary material.
Graphite is made up of layers of carbon atoms arranged into hexagons. In 2004, Geim and Novoselov successfully isolated a single layer of graphite, one carbon atom thick, and named it graphene. It has a range of exciting properties: it can carry electricity at a high speed and conduct heat, and it’s also extremely strong (ten times stronger than steel) and completely impermeable. Graphene’s remarkable properties make it a major target to electronic companies looking to make smaller and more powerful machines.Lead image:
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