Whenever economists and critics start arguing on the future scope of science, passionate scientists and researchers always come up with something to defend the endless notion of science. For science students, who aim to pursue career in engineering designs and inventions, “graphene” is a new glimpse of light. More conductive than copper, 200 times stronger and six times lighter than steel, the element of graphene has proved to be one of the latest engineering marvels. What makes the discovery of graphene so astonishing is its simple bond structure, yet impressive strength and stability.
What Makes Graphene “A Marvel Element”
The discovery of graphene was made when two scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, performed a mechanical exfoliation process on graphite. In this process, graphite was cut into layers, dissected, until only a single layer remained. This layer was stable, with the tendency to react with other elements. Thus, the discovery of a successful element was made in 2003. Before looking into the new dimensions it opens for engineers and researchers, let us get to know this marvel element a little better. When you see any element, let’s say the lead in your pencils i.e. graphite, you see a 3D image; there is height, length and width. But unlike all other 3D elements, graphene is a 2D element, with zero width. This means that the thickness of graphene is literally zero, thus making it ideal for current transmission. A 1 mm of graphite consists of nearly 3 million layers of graphene, each layer with the strength of a mountain! So, the next time you hold your pencil, visualize it as something with enormous power and strength.
Why Graphene-Based Devices Have Not Been Launched Commercially
The scope for emerging engineers and researchers is to make graphene usable for commonly used products. The major limitation of graphene is that the extreme small size and close atomic structure leaves no room for a band gap. A band gap is basically a physical gap present between different atoms of an element. In the absence of this gap, the motion of electrons cannot be ceased once started, unless the element is broken. This means a device carrying current graphene cannot be switched off, once powered, until it is broken. This answers the question that why graphene-based products are not launched for commercial purpose yet. So, this is the area along with several limitations, which keep engineers passionate and motivated in their field of study.
Anticipated Applications of Graphene
On the other hand, the promising prospect of graphene is manifold, and has the potential to give a new definition to technological advancement. “Graphene has great potential for ultra-high speed transistors, with the highest projected cut-off frequency exceeding 1 THz”, as stated in the research by Liaoa and Duana. This means that the size of all our electronic devices can be reduced with increase in speed, and a great reduction in power consumption. Jesus Feute believed that the field of Optical Electronics would be greatly benefited by the use of graphene. For ultra-high resolution optical lenses, a transparent element that could transmit more than 90% of the radiation is required. Graphene is a perfect fit, as it is completely transparent, robust, and absorbs only 2% of temperature, thus, transmitting 98%.
In A Nutshell…
As the technology advances, more doors to the implementation of graphene commercially will be opened, thus opening a whole new career path for engineers, electronic designers, and researchers. Realizing the benefits of this marvel element, a number of renowned companies have invested extravagantly in its research and development. Thus, knowing graphene better and researching it will not only be interesting, but lucrative as well.
Author Bio: Philips Jones holds a master’s in Finance, and is really passionate about the fields related to finance. He is also an expert academic consultant at 1clickdissertation.co.uk where he assists student in finance related assignments and researches.