Graphene is the thinnest, strongest, and most electrically and thermally conductive material on the planet.
It is several times stronger and more flexible than steel while being only one carbon atom thick. Graphene is a lightweight substance that weighs just 0.77mg per square meter and is highly strong. It’s also extremely flexible; investigations have shown that it can be stretched up to 25% of its original length without breaking.
Graphene is a relatively new material that was discovered in 2004. It is comprised of a single layer of graphite, which is the same graphite that is used in pencil lead. Geim and Novoselov extracted graphene by sticking graphite pieces together using adhesive tape until they built one-atom-thick flakes. Although the discovery of graphene appears to be simple, its structure is extraordinary. Graphene has a 2-D crystalline structure, with hexagonal carbon rings forming a honeycomb pattern on the flat layer of the atoms. The thickness of the layer is around 0.33nm. Due to thermal instability, 2-D molecules were thought to be impossible to exist before the discovery of graphene.
All of these characteristics are unique in and of themselves. In the coming years, there will be numerous significant graphene discoveries to look forward to.
Future Production and application of Graphene in the electronics industry
Graphene will also allow for the development of ultra-thin, flexible touchscreens that are almost indestructible. You’ll never have to worry about your smartphone breaking again. Professors from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) discovered in 2018 that graphene can have even more unexpected electrical characteristics. It may be adjusted to act as an insulator or a superconductor, depending on the electric field. To put it another way, the same substance may either block or conduct an electrical current without resistance.
Because graphene is both strong and light, it’s an excellent material for heat-spreading applications like heat sinks and heat removal films. This might be helpful in microelectronics (for example, to improve the efficiency and longevity of LED lighting) as well as broader applications, such as thermal foils for smartphones. For example, graphene-based thermal layers are used in Huawei’s newest smartphones.
Graphene is the thinnest substance on the planet, it has a very high surface area to volume ratio. As a result, graphene has great promise as a material for batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene might help batteries and supercapacitors (and perhaps fuel cells) store more energy while charging faster.
One intriguing breakthrough is the partnership between CERN and Paragraf, which resulted in the development of a graphene Hall-effect sensor that can sense magnetic fields. Biosensors, which are used to identify specific virus strains (sometimes multiple strains simultaneously). Some have been modified for detecting COVID in the COVID-19 period, while others have come to market particularly as a point-of-use device for identifying if a person has COVID.
Additional uses for graphene include anti-corrosion coatings and paints, accurate and efficient sensors, quicker and more efficient electronics, flexible displays, cheap solar panels, quicker DNA sequencing, medication delivery, and more.
Why has Graphene not dominate the world yet?
When it was originally discovered, this substance blew the world away because it was claimed to be the world’s strongest but lightest material. The adoption of graphene in companies is heavily influenced by two factors: money and research. Despite its simple separation process, researchers are still attempting to figure out how to make this material more commercially viable. The development of graphene does not happen immediately. Its manufacturing method has to be fine-tuned before graphene can move up from the lab to the market. Among the most promising approaches for mass-producing graphene is chemical vapor deposition (CVD).
Another disadvantage of the material is that it raises worries about safety. It is highly hazardous and requires careful handling because of its incredibly high conductivity. To this day, producing graphene in large quantities with uniform quality and no flaws or faults remains a problem.
Everyone’s idea of a huge sector is different, and the graphene trade is already rather substantial for a relatively specialist industry. The takeaway lesson here should be that any sector takes time to mature and establish itself and that the graphene market is still a baby in comparison to other industries, and has not yet reached its peak. At the industry, organization, regulation, and policymaker levels, a lot of work is being done to develop a worldwide graphene sector that can serve a wide range of end-user markets. The industry that people are anticipating will emerge, but it is something that cannot be hurried too much, as we have seen what can happen when an industry is rushed.
Putting all of that aside, graphene is still a strong material, and its discovery has paved the way for a slew of subsequent breakthroughs.