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Stanford Advanced Materials

Could Graphene be the Next Disruptive Technology?

Graphene is the first two- dimensional (2D) atomic crystal available on earth. Quite a large number of its material parameters such as mechanical stiffness, strength, elasticity, very high electrical and thermal conductivity are supreme. It can easily be seen as the next disruptive technology, replacing some of the currently used materials and leading to new markets. Some interesting Properties of Graphene include:  Complete impermeability to gases.  Ability to sustain extremely high densities of electric current(a million times higher than copper)  It can be readily chemically functionalized. Graphene’s many superior properties justify its nickname as a ‘miracle material’. However, some of these characteristics have been achieved only for the highest quality samples. As yet, equivalent characteristics have not been observed on graphene using other techniques although the methods are rapidly improving. Graphene will be of greater interest for industrial applications when mass produced graphene has the same outstanding performance as the best samples obtained in research laboratories. A lot of challenges have presented themselves in the production of graphene. Currently, there are probably several methods being used and developed to prepare graphene of various dimensions, shapes and quality. It is logical to categorize these by the quality of the resulting graphene: 1. Graphene or reduced graphene oxide flakes for composite materials. 2. Planar graphene for lower performance, active and non-active devices. 3. Planar graphene for high-performance electronic devices. The scalable methods of production are listed below.  Liquid phase and thermal exfoliation.  Chemical vapor deposition.  Synthesis on Silicon Carbide (SiC) It is unlikely that graphene will make it into high performance integrated logical circuits as a planar channel material within the next decade because of the absence of a band-gap. However, many other less stringent graphene electronics are being developed using the available material.

Stanford Advanced Materials

Some of the possible applications are as follows:       

Used in the production of flexible electronics. Graphene based display and electronic devices. High frequency transistors. Logic transistor. Photo detectors Optical modulator Mode-locked laser/THz generator.

Scientists used to think of graphene as a perfect 2-Dimensional lattice of carbon atoms. However, the paradigm is now shifting as pure science opens up new technology routes: even less than perfect layers of graphene can be used in certain applications. As the current market for graphene materials is being driven by the production of this material, there is a clear hierarchy in how soon the applications will reach the consumer.

Stanford Advanced Materials

Could graphene be the next disruptive technology