Graphene is the latest ‘wonder material’ which seems to have endless possibilities in a variety of industries and even for personal use.
Graphene has only recently become the centre of attention thanks to a high profile announcement that this fantastically exciting material can be made incredibly easily with items that everyone probably has at home right now. Graphite powder (from a pencil), water, dishwashing liquid, and a blender. After mixing at a high speed the material produced is a form of graphene. While it is possible to create this yourself, we must urge you not to try this at home as there are potential dangers present depending on the mixture of the ingredients.
Thomas Swan & Co Ltd., a local business in Consett, have worked to refine the process and create a defect-free high quality form of graphene to be exported to businesses and organisations for testing, they are the first to create and deliver shipments of the material around the world. The main demand for graphene from businesses comes from their desire to test the substance and see what potential benefits it can bring to their business, industry, or the wider scientific community.
Andy Goodwin, Commercial Director of Advanced Materials Division at Thomas Swan, said:
“they require a reliable, high quality source of few layer graphene products and that’s exactly what we provide.”
Potential uses for this substance are practically limitless, due in part to its base elements and the science behind just how this stuff works. When graphene was first created scientists removed layers and layers of graphite until only one single layer remained, now called graphene, and as it is only one atom thick it is the thinnest possible material still stable enough to function – this material can then be combined with layers of other materials which opens up a whole world of possibilities.
One of the most exciting areas for graphene is in the technological industry, just some potential uses could change the tech world forever:
- Lower Cost Solar Cells – using graphene as an alternative for higher cost and heavier components reduces the cost of standard solar cells.
- Lower Cost/Environmentally Friendly Touchscreens – replacing indium-based electrodes with graphene electrodes reduces cost and makes phones easier to recycle.
- Faster Charging Batteries – adding graphene to lithium-ion batteries can drastically reduce the time needed to charge a battery.