Technology

Jun 1, 2017

THE SUPERMATERIAL

It may look incredible and surreal, but the first studies of these new material date from 1947. The terminology to define is described for the first time in 1962. The theory that this substance could become an electric conductor is suggested in 1984 and the name is born in 1987, but the first note over it in chemist literature describing this material, dates from 1994.

<

Definitely, this is no ordinary material. There are even who considers it "the most recent miracle" of science and technology, or "the supreme material", the material which will revolutionize the world. And it is no less than that!

Recent because, even though the academic descriptions, the material was only isolated for the first time in 2004 and almost by chance. When polishing a graphite surface with a simple scotch tape, scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, from the University of Manchester, England, noticed that, the tape, there was attached with a thin film of graphite flakes. As they started peeling these layers they realised these never ended, until finally they reached the thinnest layer they could get.

Although considered as bizarre and the scepticism of the scientific world, the discovery worth them the Nobel Prize of Physics in 2010. And everyone who has been involved in developing this material properties, don't cease to be amazed with the qualities and possibilities it has brought into the technological world.

In a rather simple way, one can describe graphene as a single, very thin layer of graphite – yes, the very same one we find in a common pencil. This means it derives from the element carbon and, therefore, it has the same atom number, although displayed in a different way, which grants it also different properties.

As an example, both graphite and diamond are carbon derivatives, however they possess totally different properties. As diamond is extremely strong, graphite is brittle. And, if we separate graphene from graphite, it assumes miraculous properties.

The material becomes a thin plate of carbon atoms connected between them, in high density and only one atom thick in a crystal hexagonal structure. This makes graphene, the first two-dimensional material ever discovered and one of the most strong and tough in the universe – it is 200 times stronger than steel.

It also gives it unique properties: it is flexible, almost transparent, highly conductive and impervious to almost all composites, liquid and gas (not even helium can pass through a graphene film).

Future technology

So, why not apply it to everything? As almost everything in this world, it resumes to a simple factor: cost.

Graphene production is still too expensive and, therefore, its usage can only be applied to objects that can be produced in a large scale. Besides, production at an industrial scale increases the risks of creation microscopic cracks on its surface, thus compromising its performance and properties.

All this, even though, in 2012, a group of scientists from the universities of Cairo, in Egypt, and California, in the United States, have developed an efficient and profitable production technique. By applying laser radiation out of a DVD recorder over a film of graphite oxide, they managed to produce a thin layer of high quality graphene.

Since the discovery of this material, in 2004, the fascination of scientists, the academic community and technological companies hasn't stopped growing.

In 2016, a group of Chinese scientists developed a photovoltaic plate, made of graphene, which has proven to be able to produce energy out of sun rays, but also, after rain drops (pages 74 to 77, of Your VIP Partner Magazine, December 2016).

Already in 2017, a group of scientists at the South Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, alongside with Hanwha Techwin, presented a OLED flexible screen which they intend to apply to fabrics, turning future clothing "smart".

There is already unanimity considering this material will be applied soon, in areas such as energy storage, composite materials and coatings, bio-medicine, sensors and even in the production of membranes for water purification.

More Articles

FeaturedArticles

  • Viagem marco

    Lifestyle & Travel

    Mar 3, 2018

    TOURISTLESS ADVENTURE

    Adventure tourism became extremely popular over the last decade but also lost part of its realism, after all with guided visits and closed gates resorts in luxury hotels there's not much left of the spirit of adventure that turned...

  • Depositphotos_100938160_xl-2015

    Culture & Art

    Jun 23, 2018

    CARIBBEAN, FUNNY PLEASURE

    Around the world there are two forms of expression which cross all layers of society: folkloric music and dancing. Curiously (or not), both are also the result of a cross over cultures. It's no wonder, therefore, if we find Cumbia...

  • slide-1

    Food & Beverage

    May 28, 2018

    THE ART OF CANDY

    Sunflower, peanut or sesame halva, with or without additives, almond, walnuts, and other nuts, the most delicate cream flavoring, the most delicious Turkish folder – in any of the sweets brand you will find a variety of tastes,...


  • C8b--OIXgAA2KZb

    Luxury & Fashion

    Jun 1, 2017

    Recycled Plastic T-Shirts

    The production of these t-shirts, that itself can also be recycled, was planned with the aim to eliminate as much as possible the pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels and by the plastic itself since, after its use on disposable...

  • 1

    Business & Industry

    Dec 18, 2018

    AZERBAIJAN

    The ancient, the new and the future

    "Azerbaijan is a country that impresses in many ways and is relatively unknown in Western countries. Starting from the fact that – contrary to what many think – it is not close...

  • allergie-alimentari-microbioma

    Science & Nature

    May 1, 2017

    I, THE COLECTIVE BEING

    Have you ever stopped to think that you are not one, but many? I am not referring only to the historical legacy, what you have assimilated from your parents, genes, tics, ways of speaking, etc. I am referring to the number of organisms...


  • 1

    Food & Beverage

    Aug 1, 2015

    Strawberries everywhere!

    There's a place in the world where you can truly say that there are fields of strawberries until where the eye can see. That place is Finland! Here, you can pick the best wild strawberries yourself, from the very many farms throughout...

  • income-996554

    Luxury & Fashion

    Jun 1, 2016

    THE INDUSTRY OF HI TECH HIGH FASHION

    Six people, 600 hours, 30 miniature batteries and many LED lights, - such logistics was needed to create the haute couture dress that Claire Danes, actress, wore in the "Met Gala" last May in New York, United States of America (USA)....

  • 1

    Business & Industry

    Jun 1, 2015

    Young Millionaires

    Young millionaires are rising around the world. New opportunities made possible from the aftermath of the digital revolution open new markets to new ideas and business concepts, wich let imaginative and innovative people do what they...