Graphene: a unique 2D material

Graphene as a multi-functional materials with excellent optical, electronic, photonic and mechanical properties is one of the materials which drawn the most attention of scientist globally within the last decade. To name some, the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 was given to two pioneering scientist who explore the extraordinary properties of Graphene and one of the two giant European founded project of the century (Graphene flagship) is devoted to this material. Graphene is indeed a crystalline allotrope of carbon (the fourth most abundant element on the earth by mass) in which the carbon element are arranged in a hexagonal plane (cf. Figure). Special arrangements of atoms in this two dimensional materials provides some unique properties which have not seen in other materials. For instance, the electron transport through the graphene is extremely high. Although a monolayer of graphene is few angstrom thick it can absorb up to 3% of the light. Its high electrical conductivity and optical transparency makes it as an outstanding alternative candidate for the next generation of transparent conductors. It is worth noting that not only the opto-electronic properties of graphene is unprecedented, its bendability and mechanical stability shows the great promise for future flexible electronics and transistors. In addition to aforementioned advantages and properties, materials and production cost of graphene is very low. Indeed, one can simply fabricate a monolayer of graphene by “scotch tape method” of pencil at home! To do so, you need to write by a pencil on a tape and then, fold and peel the tape several times. What would be left at the very end over the tape is graphene!

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Categories: Articles, Materials Science and Engineering

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