Graphene, the supermaterial

Graphene is a substance composed of pure carbon, with atoms organized in a regular hexagonal pattern, similar to graphite. It is an almost transparent material.

The first property of graphene is that it is extremely light but at the same time extremely strong: a sheet of one square meter weighs only 0.77 grams. It is transparent, flexible, waterproof, does not pollute, and is harder than diamond, 200 times stronger than steel and more flexible than carbon fiber. It is also a superconductor: 100 times faster than the silicon used in the chips.

It has countless applications: CPUs 500 times faster, photographic sensors a thousand times more sensitive to light, wearable chips of the thickness of the skin, mobiles that are rolled, screens of the thickness of a sheet of paper …

The graphene creation methods that offer the highest quality are obtained in very small quantities. As graphene is created on a large scale its quality plummets, and with it most of its advantages. Therefore, obtaining high quality graphene is very expensive.

The conventional method to obtain graphene is to connect the carbon atoms of a gas containing carbon in a vacuum, a process that costs about 167 dollars per kilogram of material obtained. New methods of producing graphene are trying to reduce cost considerably.

Top 10 graphene companies: Versarien; Haydale; First Graphene; Directa Plus; Talga; AGM; Zenyatta; Graphenea; NanoXplore; XG Sciences.

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