A UNIQUE MATERIAL…
Graphene possesses a unique combination of properties – it is the thinnest, strongest and lightest compound known to man. When graphene is mixed with other materials, its properties are transferred, creating a disruptive cocktail in materials technology.
…WITH SUPERIOR PROPERTIES
Hard – harder than diamond
Bendable – can adopt to any shape
Thin – only one molecular layer thick
Strong – 200-300 times stronger than steel
Impervious – comes in both solid, gas and liquid
Conductive – conducts electricity better than copper
Transparent – lets through most wavelengths of light
Lightweight – a sheet of one square meter weighs less than 1 mg
Graphene has been known since the mid-1800s, but it could not be produced until the early 2000s. A Friday night in Manchester 2004, scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov managed to capture the first crystals of graphene by using regular scotch tape and a piece of graphite. They were later awarded the Nobel prize in physics for their groundbreaking discovery.
Since the first successful attempt to isolate the material a huge research effort has generated a lot of new knowledge in the field. Graphene is a focus area at many university and corporate laboratories around the world, and the expectations on the material are high. For example, EU is investing € 1 billion over 10 years on research, a project called Graphene Flagship.
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