Graphene: 21st Century Material

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Graphene: The Material of the 21st Century

Graphene is amazing. Or at least, it could be. Made from a layer of carbon one-atom thick, it’s the strongest material in the world, it’s completely flexible, and it’s more conductive than copper. Discovered just under a decade ago, the supermaterial potentially has some unbelievable applications for us in the not so distant future.

Graphene is a type of graphite mineral. Experts often call it ‘The Material of the 21st Centurybecause of its special properties. Some U.S. companies are already using graphene for new technology products.

Graphene is often described as a one-atom-thick layer of carbon. The material has some extraordinary properties. It is 100 times stronger than steel of the same thickness. The nearly transparent material also carries heat and electricity very well.

100 percent pure graphene is difficult to make. But manufacturers can make graphene of lesser purity that still has many of the features of the pure version.

Graphene can be mixed into ink for printers. Stretchable parts can be printed for products such as antennas for radio frequency identification circuits.

The new material can also be used to make very sensitive microphones.

“And, it has a working range of less than one hertz to 200,000 hertz. The human ear for example can hear from about 15 hertz to 20,000 hertzSo, way beyond anything you can hear.”

The microphone picks up the sound from light that reflects off a vibrating graphene membrane. This prevents any radio or magnetic interference.

Graphene membranes can resist vibrations and heat. The automotive industry will be able to use graphene products in vehicles to collect information about engine health.