Graphene : A Sheet Of Carbon

1556 WordsDec 16, 20167 Pages
Graphene, a sheet of carbon that is a single atom thick, is the strongest material on earth, silicone-based putty (or silly putty) is the one of the softest, and oddest. When the two got together, electricity happened. Approximately two-and-one-half years ago, researchers in Jonathon Coleman’s lab combined broken sheets of graphene with the toy putty and created G-Putty, a super-sensitive material that detects minuscule changes in pressure to the material. When they placed G-Putty on a lab mate’s skin, and connected it to a monitoring device, they could detect his heart beat and respiration. Curiosity, not usefulness, drove the team’s actions. Prof. Coleman said that his lab at Trinity College in Ireland routinely practices household science, to help them understand the properties of the two-dimensional nanosheets they study in the lab. The lab studies the physical properties of two-dimensional materials that are the width of a single atom to determine how they can be used to improve our health and our quality of life. It also has a reputation for using common household items, like kitchen blenders and Silly Putty®, in their experiments. “I like the sort of stuff where you can do science at home,” Prof. Coleman said. “Recently we 've shown how you can make graphene a home in a blender using pencils and a household detergent. The silly putty: we made it ourselves using a homemade recipe of oil and boric acid. Everything is doable at home,” he added. Graphene is a new
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