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|WHAT IS GRAPHENE?|
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|Graphene is a newly discovered two dimensional material, composed of a single honeycomb layer, a hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms. It is one atom thick and yet it is the strongest and lightest material ever tested, plus it has the highest conductive qualities of any material. It was discovered at Manchester University in 2004, by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, for their ground breaking discovery.
Graphene has the potential to radically change our consumer world, from manufacturing processes, to many of the products we buy.
|Graphene is a nonmetal and exhibits amazing potential, especially in the electrical and electronics industries. Graphene offers very little resistance to the flow of electricity, unlike copper, which is regarded as a very good conductor, but its resistance, leads to a loss of efficiency. Graphene’s simple structure, allows electrons to flow almost freely along its length. Unlike superconducting materials, that exhibit these conductive properties at very low temperatures, graphene’s conductivity is at room temperature. Currently, 6 to 9 percent of the electricity produced at power stations is lost during distribution around the country, due to the resistance of copper cables. If cables could be manufactured from graphene, the loss would be negligible. A similar percentage of electricity is lost during production at the power station. If graphene could replace the materials, that are already used in the production of electricity, further significant energy efficiencies would result.|
|Graphene promises to revolutionise the design of computers, mobile devices and mobile communications, which could be much faster and more energy efficient. The short life of batteries used to power mobile devices, could be revolutionised by graphene based materials.
As graphene is one layer thick, it is almost transparent, allowing more light through it than a pane of glass. This means that it has the potential to improve the efficiency of solar panels. This property, combined with its high level of conductivity, could lead to developments in LCD and touch screen technology.
|GRAPHENE - EXAMINATION QUESTIONS|
|1. What is graphene and who discovered it? (5 marks)|
|2. How could graphene be very important, to the electrical and electronics industries, in the future? (8 marks)|
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