Each layer is one atom thick
It is 200 times stronger than structural steel
Harder than diamond
1 square meter weighs less than 1 gram
Stretches up to 20% of its length without inducing defects
Thermal and electric, better than copper
Has direct applications in medicine
It is pure carbon, just like graphite
Graphene is a two-dimensional atomic-scale material, that is made of a single layer of carbon atoms that have a high level of cohesion through hybridisation bonds sp2 and arranged in a uniform surface, slightly undulating, with a similar appearance to a honeycomb lattice because of its hexagonal configuration. Graphene is an allotropic form of carbon, as graphite or diamond. Thus, one millimeter of graphite contains three million layers of graphene.
It is the strongest material known in nature, stronger than structural steel with the same density and even harder than diamond, and at the same time, it has a thickness that varies between 1 and 10 carbon atoms. Because of its thinness, this material is considered two-dimensional; it is the only material that can remain stable at just one atom thick.
It is elastic and flexible, graphene also has great electrical and thermal conductivity. This allows for heat dissipation and withstanding intense electrical currents without heating. It is virtually transparent, waterproof and so dense that not even helium can pass through it. It also exhibits many other qualities, such as high electron mobility, a property that will make it particularly interesting in the future for its potential use in fast nanodevices.
Graphene has incredible mechanical, electronic, chemical, magnetic and optical properties, and for this reason it is one of the most investigated materials at the moment. Furthermore, graphene is pure carbon, abundantly available in nature and ecologically friendly.
For all these reasons, graphene is very promising for thousands of applications in very different fields. It has the potential to replace fundamental materials such as silicon during the next decade. The array of possibilities for its applications is so wide and so varied that it has the potential to lead to a technological revolution.
It was discovered by Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim in 2004, both winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.
It is pure carbon.
It is two-dimensional, and 100.000 times thinner than a human hair.
It is the strongest material of nature, 200 times more than structural steel with the same density.
It is harder to scratching than diamond.
It is elastic and more flexible than fiber carbon.
It has the same density of fiber carbon but it is 5 times lighter than aluminium. A 1-square-meter graphene sheet weighs only 0,77 milligrams.
It is waterproof, repelling water and corrosion.
It is chemically inert, does not react with oxygen in the air and does not oxidize.
It has a large specific surface area (SSA) of 2.600 m2/g, so one gram is enough to completely cover a football field.
It is so dense that not even helium can pass through it. However, it lets water vapor pass, which evaporates at the same speed as if the water was in an open vessel.
It is virtually transparent to light, because optical absorption of a single layer of graphene is only ~2,3% in the visible spectrum.
It has a high thermal and electric conductivity, greater than that of copper or silver.
It heats up less when carrying electrons (lower Joule effect) and consumes less electricity than silicon for the same task.
It works as a frequency multiplier, therefore making it possible to work at high clock frequencies.
It is resistant to ionizing radiation, so it is applicable in areas such as health sector (radiotherapy systems, etc.).
It is biocompatible and non-toxic for biological cells.
It is bactericidal, but allows the growth of cells. Bacteria do not develop in it, so it can be used in biomedicine or food industry.
It can react chemically with other substances to form new compounds with alternative properties, opening up an unlimited range of application areas.