News / Science & Technology

Graphene Called Amazing, Versatile Material of the Future

Graphene Called Amazing, Versatile Material of the Futurei
X
February 04, 2014 5:33 PM
In 2004, two scientists at the University of Manchester in England isolated a carbon-based material called graphene, with some unusual properties. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov hailed it as 'the wonder material of the 21st century,' and they were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics. Scientists now say that someday, graphene may change the way we live. VOA's George Putic has more.

Graphene Called Amazing, Versatile Material of the Future

George Putic
In 2004, two scientists at the University of Manchester in England isolated a carbon-based material called graphene, with some unusual properties. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov hailed it as 'the wonder material of the 21st century,' and they were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics. Scientists now say that someday, graphene may change the way we live. 

Graphene is the first man-made two-dimensional material. It is actually only a one-atom-thick layer of pure carbon. It is closely related to nanotubes, and microscopic graphite balls called fullerenes.

Graphene is basically graphite, like the core of pencils, but its neatly-arranged and tightly-woven atoms make it 200 times stronger than a steel sheet of the same thickness.

Myriad positive qualities

The leader of the graphene research team at Manchester University, Aravind Vijayaraghavan, said incredible strength is not its only quality.

"It's bendable, stretchable, transparent, super light. The best conductor of heat, the best conductor of electricity. It's not just one thing that makes it amazing, it's in fact all these things rolled into one," said Vijayaraghavan.

The potential of graphene is practically unlimited. It can be used in cancer therapy, in flexible touchscreens, or for batteries that will charge in seconds. Top tennis players Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray use graphene-based racquets.

Development challenges

But being so thin, graphene also is extremely hard to handle, like the transparent cellulose used for wrapping food.

"It gets everywhere, it crinkles up, it sticks to everything," said Vijayaraghavan.

Because of that, large-scale production is still decades away, said George Mason University Engineering professor Dimitris Ioannou, speaking via Skype. “The real bottleneck is to find out the technique to make large area graphene layers and that’s not yet possible, I don’t think, but there is a lot of research going on,” he said.

Ioannou said someday, graphene may be very useful for smartphone displays, supercapacitors and nanoantennas for nanomachines that could talk to each other.

Britain and the European Union are building a $140-million National Graphene Institute in Manchester, while there are already close to 10,000 patents worldwide related to the new material.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: george wohanka from: E.E.U.U.
February 05, 2014 3:28 PM
You owe it to your listeners to contact Grafoid and announce to the world that graphene is being mass produced, once you have assured yourselves that this is indeed correct.


by: Andrew Hutton from: Ottawa, Canada
February 05, 2014 7:31 AM
For the record, Grafoid Inc., leads a global platform consisting of Focus Graphite Inc., Graphite Zero Pte Ltd., and the Graphene Research Center at the National University of Singapore which is, in fact, producing pristine, high energy density graphene in bulk. We are currently expanding our scalable, mass production facilities in Canada and the United States. By scalable, I mean scalable to tonnes. We are not decades away from mass production in North America as Prof. Ioannou suggests, but rather, months.

Ours is a remarkable accomplishment given the scale of interest - and funding - for graphene's development from governments, institutions and multinational corporations. Our simple, patent pending one step process transforms raw graphite ore to few layer MesoGraf™ - the first trademarked graphene in the world. That process overcomes graphene's physical inclinations to fold back on itself and results in the low-cost, reproducible and environmentally sustainable mass production of high surface area MesoGraf™.

As a company leading the charge towards graphene's commercialization, it is important that we educate the world on our achievements. Our academic, industrial and military application development partnerships have already led to the creation of new, game-changing industrial materials - materials we believe will propel us into a leading position in the Graphene Revolution.

Andrew Hutton, Public Affairs and Corporate Communications
Grafoid Inc. Ottawa, Canada

In Response

by: george wohanka from: usa
February 05, 2014 4:32 PM
Once you have confirmed that Hutton is correct I think you owe the world a follow up correcting the statement that production of graphene in bulk is decades away.

Canada as a sister country apparently will be able to produce graphene by the ton. If true let the world know. And if Grafoid's statements are not correct. explain why and tell the world that your original broadcast was correct.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid