What is graphene?

What Does graphene Mean

The etymology of graphene brings us to English graphene . The term refers to a flexible and hard material obtained from graphite .

Graphene can conduct electricity and heat . Due to its characteristics, graphene can be very useful in various industrial sectors, since it is conductive, has great resistance and is light.
Composed of carbon , in this substance the atoms are organized in a hexagonal structure and are linked through covalent bonds. Thanks to their studies on graphene, scientists Konstantín Novosiólovo and Andre Geim were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 .

Its electrical and thermal conductivity, its flexibility and its great hardness and lightness are not the only properties valued by physicists. Graphene also has the ability to repair itself when its structure breaks (since it generates the attraction of carbon atoms near the holes), it can withstand ionizing radiation and generates compounds of various properties through chemical reactions with other substances.
Although its applications are still under study, it is estimated that graphene can be used in the desalination of water via reverse osmosis, in cancer treatments and in the manufacture of touch screens, batteries and high-speed cables.
Graphene is generally distributed as graphene oxide . In any case, the difficulties of producing it massively mean that its use, at least for the moment, cannot be extended too much. Graphene is therefore said to be the "material of the future" as its potential is enormous.
Although in the first half of the 2010s graphene became a great promise , as mentioned in the previous paragraph, towards the beginning of the next everything seemed to disappear. This does not mean that it was a lie, that the material did not have the potential that scientists talked about so much at the time, but that it has not yet been possible to pay for its manufacture to mass its use in different industries.
This case is not isolated, but goes hand in hand with many other "miraculous" products or materials, which show us a window into a future of science fiction, in which we will have access to incredible technologies and our daily activities will be practically automated; all of this will be possible one day, but at the moment it is only achieved in prototypes, in tests supervised by the creators and with certain limitations that prevent its introduction into the market.

If we only focus on the fact that graphene is made up of a sheet whose thickness is a million times less than that of a sheet of paper, it is not difficult to understand that its production entails certain challenges, both technically and in terms of the economic one. To this we must add the aforementioned properties, such as its lightness: a square meter of graphene weighs only 0.77 grams.
As if all this were not enough, scientists point out that its resistance exceeds that of steel about two hundred times, an achievement that makes us think of some Marvel and DC superheroes , such as Rogue and Superman . In computing, for example, it could offer an impressive increase in driving speed, as it is a hundred times faster than silicon in microchips.
In short, graphene is truly a dream material. Perhaps the scientists were quick to talk about it before they had the means to massify its production, or perhaps they did so with the purpose of achieving it thanks to the response of the people and its consequent impact on the vision of investors.

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