Graphene : The Greatest Breakthrough Originates From Something Simple

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Sometimes, the greatest breakthrough originates from something simple. In the case of graphene, the breakthrough started when scientists began to slice graphite, a common substance present in pencil, atom by atom. When it reaches to an atom thick, each single layer is known as graphene. It turns from being a humble pencil lead to a revolutionary material that may earn the title ‘material of the decade’. The properties of graphene are extraordinary, it is recorded as the best electrical and thermal conductor in the world. Even though the material is known to be harder than a diamond, it successfully shocked scientists for its flexibility. These facts sparked the curiosity of scientists and encouraged them to explore more of this material.…show more content…
He thought that he found a new allotrope (structure) of carbon. However, we now know that instead of finding a new allotrope of carbon, he found graphene oxide (Geim). In 1962, German chemist Hanns-Peter Boehm picked up where Brodie left off and produced a residue from the reaction of graphene oxide which is now known as graphene. They then introduced the term ‘graphene’ for the first time in history. He gave the name graphene based on the combination of graphite, its raw material, and the suffix -ene to signify its aromatic hydrocarbon characteristics (Geim). However, it was Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov who made a big hit through their paper in graphene in 2004. These scientists from Manchester University discovered graphene through an unorthodox method. In the book “Graphene: Fundamentals and emergent applications,” Jamie H. Warner (2012) stated that how these scientists used a scotch tape to discover graphene. They started off with graphite of a pencil, and started removing layers after layers until they were left with a single layer of graphite called graphene. For their ingenious yet simple technique, they were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their “groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene” (Warner). Although scientists have begun testing the use of graphene in smaller scale, its implementation in may need several more years. They could not use the ‘scotch-tape’ method
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