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Transcript of Graphene
status and prospects
What is graphene?
Graphite (the mineral used in pencil lead) is composed of many layers of hexagon sheets, tightly stacked one on top of the other.
If you manage to successfully extract just one of these layers, the result is a single layer of graphite, called graphene.
These layers are so thin they're practically 2-dimensional
Groundbreaking experiments into graphene earned two professors from the University of Manchester the Nobel Prize for Physics back in 2010
Why should you care?
How's it made?
Thank you for listening.
Graphene is being lauded as "the miracle material of the 21st century" - and rightly so.
As well as being the thinnest known material in the universe, it is the strongest material ever measured.
Carries a huge intrinsic mobility and can sustain current densities up to six orders of magnitude than that of copper
Has zero effective mass
Graphene man. (Hear me out)
Could potentially create incredibly light armor using a composite material fashioned from graphene and buckypaper
Charge your super suit in minutes!
Graphene supercapacitors could potentially allow for you to carry a ridiculous amount of energy (sadly, probably not enough for jetpack hands)
Graphene can only be created artificially
Two ways to mechanically produce Graphene:
The "Scotch Tape" Method
Isolation of epitaxial monolayers
and transfer to substrates
Body of research growing at enormous pace
Several properties of Graphene collectively contribute to its unique electronic properties:
Electrons traveling across the carbon lattice completely lose their effective mass
This results in an abundance of quasi-particles described by a Dirac-like equation
Electron waves only propagate in a layer only one atom thick
Electrons in Graphene can cover sub-micrometer distances without scattering
Quantum effects can survive at room temperature
Using Atomic force Microscopy, we can measure how much force we can apply to a sample of Graphene before it breaks
References and further reading
The sample is able to endure forces 100-300 times greater (depending on what research paper you lift the number from) than that of steel
A hypothetical 1 meter squared Graphene Hammock could theoretically support a 4kg cat, while only weighing as much as one of the cats whiskers.
That's higher than in graphite, diamond, and carbon nanotubes
Graphene has a thermal conductivity of around 4.84±0.44) × 10 to (5.30±0.48) × 10 W·m−1·K−1.
Ballistic thermal conductance is isotropic
For Graphene, the body of research is growing at such a relentless pace - meaning that some of the problems I'm about to present could be resolved in the very near future
Perhaps its most important setback: currently, it's prohibitively expensive to manufacture
It doesn't have a band gap
Recent research (about 3-6 months old) has shown promise for the use of a composite made from Graphene and Rubber that gives super strength (I'm not making this up)
A potential 50% or more strength reduction in polycrystallline graphene, if forces are applied to junctions (where the regular hexagonal array of graphene is interrupted)
August 20th, 2013: Physicists from the University of California may have found a route around the band gap problem exploiting a phenomena called "negative resistance"
October 8th, 2013: HZB Institute of Silicone Voltaics show graphene to maintain its properties when applied to a thin silicon film, a huge leap towards using graphene for solar cells
October 21st, 2013 (ie Monday): Northwestern University have managed to create a p - n heterojunction diode, having huge implications for complex electronics at the nanoscale
Perhaps the sector with most to gain from the discovery and research of Graphene is the technology sector.
Some of the technologies theoretically possible include:
Faster computer chips
Faster communications (broadband)
Electric cars can be charged in minutes
Due to its transparency, solar cells can be placed on windows
Applying a layer of graphene to metals will prohibit them from rusting
In biomedicine, the possibilities range from sterilising hospitals to cancer treatment
The best is yet to come...
1.1 A.K. Geim. Graphene: Status and Prospects. Available: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/324/5934/1530.full.
References: 1.1, 1.2
1.2 Manchester University. (2010). Graphene: World-leading Research and Development. Available: http://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/.
One final thought...
References: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
References 1.1, 1.2
1.8 Jesus de La Fuente . (2013). Graphene Applications and Uses. Available: http://www.graphenea.com/pages/graphene-uses-applications#.Umge6JTwIhM.
1.3 Various. (2009). Graphene Info. Available: www.graphene-info.com.
References: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
1.4 Matthew Francis. (2013). The Graphene Age Isn't Quite Here Yet. Available: http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/10/the-graphene-age-isnt-quite-here-yet/.
1.5 Dexter Johnson. (2013). A Simple Twist Changes Graphene's Fate. Available: http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/nanotechnology/a-simple-twist-changes-graphenes-fate
1.6 Tereza Pultarova. (2013). Graphene Based Photovoltaics One Step Closer. Available: http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2013/oct/graphene-silicon.cfm.
1.7 Various. (2013). Atomically Thin Device Promises New Class of Electronics. Available: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021162653.htm.