GRAPHENE : A STRONGEST MATERIAL IN THE WORLD


                    Matter are those which occupies space and size . All things are made up of elements and all elements are made up of identical minute particles called atoms. We would have read about this in our school.  Earth has 118 elements. Carbon is an important element used for a variety of purposes. Graphite is a mineral made up of carbon atoms whose atoms are arranged in a hexagonal structure. It turns into a diamond under high pressure and temperature. It is often used in pencils and lubricants.When we separate the layer of graphite into single layer,we will obtain a new mineral called Graphene which is said to be the strongest material in the world. But its thickness is said to be less than that of paper. It’s amazing to hear this. But we have to believe as it is proven by the use of pencil and cellophane by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov in 2004. In this article we will look at graphene in detail.




Image of Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov who won the nobel prize in physics in 2010 for the discovery of graphene just by the use of a pencil and cellophane





Table Of Contents :

*History
*Properties
*Uses

HISTORY :


           In 1947 P.R Wallace set out the theory of graphene as a starting point to understand the electronic properties of 3D graphite.In those times,the properties of small particles were predicted using Transmission Electron Microscope ( A device used to observe the properties of small particles by accelerating the beam of electron through the particle).In 1948 G.Ruess and F.Vogt published the initial images of few layer graphite obtained from TEM.In 1961 Hanns Peter Boehm started his research on the thin layer of graphite.Later in 1962 he coined his research name as graphene. Gradually many researchers were began to engage in the research of graphene.In 1987  through the observations of TEM scientists described graphene as a single layer sheet of graphite and attempts were made to segregate the layer from the mineral.And they felt it is impossible to separate the single layer sheet from graphite. In 2004 Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov  broke their intention by isolating graphene from graphite just by the use of pencil and cellophane.For their valuable efforts they won the nobel price  in  physics in 2010 for isolating the single layer sheet from graphite(Pencil Tip).After their discoveries various research were held on the properties and uses of graphene.



PROPERTIES : 


            It is known that graphene is a thin layer sheet isolated from graphite,but it is said to be the strongest material in the world.It is 100 times stronger than steel and its tensile strength(breaking tendency under tension) is close to 130 GPa(Giga Pascal).It's amazing to hear about its properties,but still it has better looks than this.It is a highly flexible and transparent mineral on which the future foldable smartphone depends on.Currently foldable phones use a thin layer of plastic which don't have much flexiblity and users feels uncomfortable while using foldable phones.And also while using a plastic display users feels heat radiation but graphene,since it is a good conductor of heat it conducts out the heat uniformly to all the atoms and thus users can experience meager thermal issues than that of plastics.Its flexiblity and transparent property is not only use for foldable phones but also for variety of purposes.On seeing its next property,it makes me more astonishing than its other properties.Yes,its main property is,it is a good conductor of electricity.You may think all metallic elements conducts electricity what does it makes amaze. But there is,though it comprises non metal elements (Carbon) it conducts electricity much better than copper.Its conducts electricity due to its structure. In copper electric wires, electricity are wasted in the form of heat,but graphene has resistance lower than copper and thus it conducts electricity smoothly than copper.


Image of structure of graphene.A single layer thin sheet of graphite which is said to be known as graphene,a strongest material in the world.


USES :


  
                        How long does it take to fully charge our phone. The maximum is 2:30 hours and takes about 30 minutes to 60 minutes for a fast charging device. But using a battery made of graphene, it only takes a few seconds to fully charge. Currently Samsung is working on these features and last year they announced their future battery, which will takes just 12 minutes to fully charge. Also it's light weight makes the device lightweight, which gives the user comfort while using it. Its next applications are that the automobile industry has now begun to develop battery-powered electric cars and bikes. This will reduce the pollution in the future of the reserve, but if the car battery runs out we will need to charge it for almost 3 hours to 4 hours. But using a graphene battery takes about 30 seconds to a few minutes depending on the size of the battery. In many countries people were suffering without water. Water is purified by the desalination process (extraction of contaminants from seawater), but not enough for all people to meet their needs. It is very expensive to build a desalination plant and requires large areas to build it. This process is very difficult to carry out. But graphene makes it possible. Its impermeable property does not allow large molecules. So using graphene at low cost can purify seawater and other unclean water, and no plants are required to carry out this process. The next use of graphene is in photovoltaic cells. Solar cells are generally expensive and produce minimal energy that does not meet the needs of the population, but Indian researchers have found that graphene cells can be used which is inexpensive and produce more energy than solar cells.Its light weight and stronger property make help to build aircraft ,rockets etc.All of these are some of the main uses of graphene, still graphene can be used for many purposes such as electric wires,display in electronic devices as we have seen before and etc. Many researchers are engaged in research looking for graphene and its other proposals and applications, which will soon emerge into this world and solve our major problems.


Check out this link to know more about graphene  https://youtu.be/-zUyh_hB4gE (Tamil)






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