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Graphene: The Next Wonder Material?

Thursday, 04 October 2012

A TV screen as thin and flexible as paper. A cook's pot that flashes a warning if it detects E. coli. Possible treatments for damaged spinal cords. It's not science fiction -- these are all possible applications of a material known as graphene.

This so-called "wonder material" is 100 times stronger than steel but thinner than any known solid. And It's the focus of the latest episode of ChemMatters.

The video explains how graphene's incredible properties come from the unique arrangement of its atoms. Graphene, like diamonds and coal, is made up entirely of carbon. But unlike those materials, graphene's carbon atoms are arranged in two-dimensional sheets, making it incredibly strong and flexible. Since graphene also conducts electricity as well as copper, it could lead to flexible cell phone touchscreens and transparent, inexpensive solar cells. Ongoing advances in manufacturing graphene are bringing these and other devices closer to reality.