The world as we know it is really and truly a wonderous place. The technologies and materials that are being produced have me wondering what will be next. Graphene has been around for a while but this super material can now be used in 3d Printing…imagine the implications of that…a super strong material like Graphene being used to augment the plastics used in the 3d Printing Process…now these little machines are able to not just prototype…but produce super strong parts and entire items…this is just amazing!
What is Graphene?
According to Wikipedia: Graphene is pure carbon in the form of a very thin, nearly transparent sheet, one atom thick. It is remarkably strong for its very low weight (100 times stronger than steel) and it conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency.
Ok…so a material, one atom thick that is 100 times stronger than steel…that is amazing!
So what is Graphene being used for today?
Nothing…it has no current commercial applications but that is just around the corner. Things like:
Bioengineering: Graphene may have biomolecular capabilities that enable it to be harnessed into the creation of bio mechanical devices, anti-biotics and possibly anti-cancer applications.
Optical Electronics: That wonderful touch screen that you have on your tablet or smartphone…imagine it being completely scratch proof and nearly indestructable…now that would be a great thing!
Ultrafiltration: With the material being a single atom think, there are researchers looking to be able to use Graphene as an Ultrafiltration device filtering fluids down to just 5 nm (nano meters) where current filtration offerings can only go to 30-40 nm!
Photovoltaic Cells: Graphene could replace Silicon as the primary material in Solar Energy Production because of its ability to convert light of nearly all wavelengths into useful electrical energy boosting the output of a Solar Farm by a substantial amount…but could also be incorporated into our own clothing to recharge the plethora of personal computing devices that we have and will continue to take on.
Energy Storage: The use of Graphene in Batteries and on Circuit Boards could not only increase the storage and charging capacity but also reduce the energy consumption of components, finally battling the Moores Law that has computing power advancing dramatically faster than our ability to supply power to these new devices.
You see, the brave new world through chemistry is upon us. I for one thank you all the hyper-intelligent people out there working to make this a better world. My hat goes off to you!