What is Graphene? Graphene Uses, Application, and Properties

Graphene is the strongest material ever developed. It is tougher than diamond and 200x stronger than steel. Thanks to these unique properties, the material has turned into a hot topic in the industry and learning institutions. Read on to learn more about where to buy graphene, its uses, applications, and properties.

Graphene is a recently discovered material that’s changing the way people do business. Today, the material is applied in various spheres, including flexible and wearable antennas and electronics, flexible displays, pressure sensor design, and data communication systems. It’s also used in optoelectronics, rechargeable batteries, photovoltaics, and medical and bioengineering technologies.

What is Graphene?

Graphene is a disruptive material made of a single atomic layer of graphite – a naturally occurring mineral composed of stacked sheets of carbon atoms with a hexagonal crystal structure. What makes it unique is the fact that it has sp2 hybridization and very thin atomic thickness.

In a nutshell, graphene is super-strong, stiff and incredibly thin, light, and almost entirely transparent. It is also an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and has some unique electronic properties.

Where to buy graphene

There’s no shortage when it comes to where to buy graphene. Many companies sell graphene in varying forms, shapes, and sizes – you’ll need to take time to do some research regarding your prospective seller. Find out their reputation, price, product range, specialization, customer support, among other crucial qualities. Based on availability and your preferences, you can get your graphene online or offline.

General properties

Graphene is harder than diamond and more elastic than rubber. It is lighter than aluminum and tougher than steel. It has many other incredible characteristics. It conducts heat two times better than diamond, its high electron mobility is a hundred times faster than silicon, and its electrical conductivity is 13 times better than copper. A defect-free monolayer of graphene is impenetrable that even the smallest atom cannot pass through it. Besides, it only absorbs about 2.3% of reflecting light.

Strength and stiffness

Graphite is soft because the carbon layers shave off pretty easily. However, the atoms within those layers are tightly bonded like carbon nanotubes. On the other hand, graphene is strong – so much so that its strength is yet to be put to the right use. Graphene has an ultimate tensile strength of 130,000,000,000 Pascals compared to 400,000,000 Pascals for steel,

 People are only blending it with other materials – like plastics – to enhance their toughness and strength. Again, graphene is also pretty elastic – it can stretch to about 20-25% of its original length without breaking.

Optical properties

Graphene can absorb about 2.3% of white light – despite it being only one atom thick. Its ability to absorb light comes from its electronic properties – where the electrons serve as massless charge carriers with fast mobility. Incorporating another layer of graphene increases the amount of light absorbed by about 2.3%. Because of these exciting properties, it’s been noted that once optical intensity hits the saturation affluence, saturable absorption takes place.

Electronic properties

Thanks to its zero-overlap semimetal with exceptionally high electrical conductivity, graphene conducts electricity and heat well. Its flat, hexagonal lattice provides less resistance to electrons, which pass through it easily and fast, moving electricity better than the best conductors like copper. What’s more, its excellent conductivity remains stable even at room temperature.

Graphene applications

Graphene is a material that can be used in a range of disciplines, including composite materials, bioengineering, nanotechnology, and energy technology. Medicine, transport, energy, desalination, and defense are examples of industries where this technology is making a substantial impact. And this is only the beginning. The potential for graphene is virtually unlimited.

Composite materials

Aerospace engineers are now adding carbon fiber into the production of airplanes as its strong and light. In the coming days, it’s expected that graphene is used to create a material that can replace steel in the aircraft structure.

Biomedical

From targeted drug delivery to smart implants and improved brain penetration to DIY health testing kits and everything in between, graphene’s unique properties facilitate advanced biomedical applications. The graphene applications in biomedical are vast and can be classified into different areas, including sensors, transport systems, biological agents, and tissue engineering.

Photovoltaic cells

Since graphene offers very low levels of light absorption and high electron mobility, it can be used in place of ITO or silicon to produce photovoltaic cells. Graphene in batteries could dramatically increase the lifespan of traditional Li-ion batteries. This means that devices will be charged quicker and retain power for longer. Besides, the batteries would be light and flexible that they could be stitched into the body or clothing.

Conclusion

Graphene is not only the world’s most robust material but also the thinnest and most conductive of both heat and electricity. These qualities make it one of the most highly sought material for strength enhancements and other uses.