Graphene has been described as a “miracle material”, but what exactly is it?
Andre Geim: It’s the thinnest material you can get. It’s only one atom thick. A tiny amount can cover a huge area, so one gram could cover a whole football pitch. It’s the strongest material we are aware of because you can’t slice it any further. Of course, we know that atoms can be divided into elementary particles, but you can’t get any material that is thinner than one atom, or it wouldn’t count as a material anymore.
Graphene is stronger than diamond; it shows extraordinary heat conductance; it conducts electricity a thousand times better than copper,the list goes on. We’re talking about probably 20 superlatives which apply to graphene. Another surprise is that you can just about see it with the naked eye, even though it’s only one atom thick!
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