The advances in science and technology have enabled us to achieve
certain feats that were deemed impossible in the near past.
One such accomplishment of scientific research is the isolation of a single
layer of graphite- called graphene. The structure of graphene is a
tightly packed layer of carbon atoms that are bonded in a hexagonal
The thinnest compound known to mankind, graphene has the
thickness of a single atom, which is one-millionth of the thickness of
human hair. It is almost transparent but can be seen with the naked eye.
It is also the lightest known material (about 0.77mg for one square
meter of volume). Graphene is 200 times stronger than the strongest
of steel and has a tensile stiffness of 150,000,000 psi. Also, graphene
is the most conductive material on earth.
These astounding properties of graphene can revolutionize the
electronics industry with the development of wearable, transparent,
flexible and interactive devices. Graphene is already being used to
increase the charging rate, capacity, and durability of batteries. In the
automobiles and aviation industry, graphene can be used to make
vehicles corrosion resistant and lightweight. Graphene is also being
considered in defense technology as a replacement for Kevlar as
protective clothing. Membranes of graphene can be used in water
purification technology, meaning the availability of clean water all
over the world.
Unsurprisingly, the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to
Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of University of Manchester
“for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two dimensional
“The Nobel Prize in Physics 2010”. The Nobel Foundation.
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