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By Dr.Zhang from Nanjing Normal University | 05 June 2019 | 0 Comments

Graphene- The Wonder Material!

Graphene- The Wonder Material!

1. What is grapheme?
Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms, tightly packed into a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. It is an allotrope of carbon, existing in the form of sp2 bond atomic plane, with molecular bond length of 0.142 nanometers. Layers of graphene form graphite, spaced 0.335 nanometers apart. The separated graphene layers in graphite are held together by van der Waals forces that can be overcome during the graphene stripping process.
2. Graphene’s Properties
(1) The thinnest single-atom-thick.
(2) The lightest material.
(3) The strongest compound.
(4) The best thermal conductor at room temperature.
(5) The best electrical conductor.
(6) Absorption of light in the visible and near-infrared parts of the spectrum (PI alpha ≈2.3%).
3. Graphene’s uses

  1. Mechanical strength
Graphene is the strongest material in the world, so it can be used to strengthen other materials. Dozens of studies have shown that even adding a certain amount of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make them stronger or you can achieve the same strength with fewer materials.
  1. Thermal applications
Graphene is the most heat-conducting material in the world. Graphene's strength and light weight mean it is a good material for making heat-conducting products such as heat sinks. This is useful in microelectronics (such as making LED lighting more efficient and durable) and in larger applications (such as radiators for mobile devices).
  1. Energy storage
Because graphene is the thinnest material in the world and it also has the highest surface - volume ratio, which makes graphene a promising material for batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene allows devices to store more energy and charge more quickly. Besides, Graphene can also be used to enhance fuel cells.
(4)  Coatings, sensors, electronics and more
Graphene has many other promising applications: anticorrosive coatings and coatings, efficient and accurate sensors, faster and more efficient electronics, flexible displays, efficient solar panels, faster DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and so on.
4. Potentials of graphene

  1. Portable batteries of all kinds
Batteries and supercapacitors have all sorts of advantages, but also disadvantages. While there are many types of batteries that can store large amounts of energy, they are often at a disadvantage due to their size, weight and slow release of energy. However, capacitors enable users to charge and discharge at a more efficient rate, as well as affordable. However, using graphene to improve the performance of batteries and supercapacitors may blur the line between the two types of energy storage.
Graphene-powered supercapacitors store a lot of energy, making them easier to charge and discharge quickly. Because of its efficient and fast charging properties, graphene makes it easier to acquire and carry the devices that requires higher power.
Graphene-based battery alternatives have improved energy storage and improved performance through their lifetime of use and charging. The energy capacity and reliability of the battery are improved by adding two-dimensional materials to the battery electrode. Subsequently, the devices can be more efficient for a longer period of time and provide higher cost performance.
 (2) Applying graphene for advanced technology
In 2016, Huawei, a china-based network, telecommunications and services company, revealed that it was trying to develop an innovative graphene-enhanced lithium-ion battery. The marketing pitch for the battery is that it can maintain function and run longer even at temperatures above the 50°C limit. Using a number of innovative technologies, Huawei battery ensures heat dissipation by:
  • Anti-decomposition additives within the electrolyte;
  • Chemically stabilized crystal cathodes; and
  • Graphene.
Consequently, the manufacturer added that the use of graphene reduces the operating temperature of the battery by 5°C.
As a great and fundamental building material, it seems that every industry can benefit from this new material. Time will tell what kind of impact can this “wonder material” can make, let us wait and see!


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