Graphene is a single tightly packed layer of carbon atoms, which are bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. As the second most abundant substance in the human body, and the element which is found in the forth greatest quantity on the planet, carbon is the chemical basis for all known life on earth. Due to the fact that graphene is composed of carbon this makes it a readily available, eco-friendly solution which can be applied to a variety of fields.
In addition to its prevalence, graphene has a number of other advantages including:
- Unsurpassed Strength – The building block of graphite, it is currently the strongest compound discovered.
- Thinness – At only one atom thick, graphene combines resilience with being super thin.
- Weightlessness – The lightest material known, one square meter of graphene weighs only 0.77 milligrams.
- High Conductivity – At room temperature, graphene is the best known conductor of electricity and heat.
- High Light Absorption – Graphene’s white light absorption level is very unique.
Other qualities of graphene add to its usefulness and whereas its exfoliation was once very expensive the cost has decreased dramatically and companies now sell it in large quantities. Scientists have many future uses of the product planned, and research and development occurs on an ongoing basis. Some of these include:
It has been determined that graphene is a suitable material for engineering tissue and medical researchers believe that it is the ideal substance to improve the structure of fabricated tissue cells. Another area in medicine which graphene is expected to play an important role is the transportation of liquid drugs. Research has shown that a sheet of graphene oxide can be transformed into liquid crystal droplets, once it has been placed in a solution to manipulate the pH. This allows the droplets’ structure to change in the presence of an external magnetic field, meaning that drugs can be transported in the droplets and then released when needed.
Water vapor is the only liquid or gas able to penetrate graphene oxide membranes. The distillation process for vodka normally requires extreme heat or a vacuum, which can be eliminated by the use of graphene.
As a bio-degradable, non-toxic material which is also soluble in water, graphene can be used to create stable mixes with other liquids. In order to use this as a contaminant removal, the created solution can then be put into other liquids to attract undesired or potentially harmful molecules.