Graphene has numerous applications but there are many challenges. It can be used to improve existing technologies but that all takes time however great progress is being made.
“Imagine a future where cell phones can be charged in seconds and tablets roll up like newspapers. As scientists delve deeper into the field of nanoscience, developments like these appear more possible than ever.
Nanoscience is the study of matter at the nanoscopic level, or nanoscale. Consequently, scientists and engineers can study nanomaterials, such as nanotubes and nanogold, at the molecular level to reveal their unique properties.
One such material is graphene, which is often referred to as a “wonder material.” Discovered by researchers at the University of Manchester in 2004, graphene is a single layer of graphite, which makes up materials such as pencil lead. Graphene is an allotrope, or form of the element carbon. The carbon atoms are arranged in a hexagonal, honeycomb-like structure, giving rise to important properties such as thermal conductivity, elasticity, and chemical inertness.
Due to its unique physical and chemical properties, graphene demonstrates fascinating traits. It is the lightest, thinnest, and strongest carbon allotrope and was the first human-made two-dimensional material to be isolated. Despite being one atom thick, it is 200 times stronger than steel and is the lightest, most conductive human-made material on Earth. It thus has the potential to be applied to many different fields, although it is still in the early stages of development.
“As with any new technology, it takes time to commercialize a product, and not many [graphene products] are on the market yet,” Raed Abdo, a Master’s student in Electrical Engineering, wrote in an email to The McGill Tribune. “However, we can expect to see it soon in different applications, including battery sensors, coatings, and construction.”
Read full article The applications of graphene at McGill and beyond
Source: McGill Tribune Written by Stephanie Deng