Graphene, as the thinnest, toughest and best conductive nano material found at present. It is a two-dimensional crystal composed of carbon atoms stripped from graphite material with only one layer of atom thickness. Known as “black gold”, it is “the king of new materials”. Scientists even predicted that graphene “will completely change the 21st century”.
Graphene exists in nature, but it is difficult to peel off the single-layer structure. Graphene layer by layer is graphite. Graphite with a thickness of 1mm contains about 3 million layers of graphene. When a pencil scratches gently on the paper, the trace may be several layers or even just one layer of graphene.
In 2004, two scientists, Andre Guy (Andre Geim) and Kostya Novolov (Konstantin Novoselov), from the University of Manchester, UK, separated the graphite sheet from the highly oriented pyrolytic graphite, and then glued the two sides of the sheet to a special tape. They kept doing this, so the sheets became thinner and thinner. Finally, they got a sheet composed of only one layer of carbon atoms, which is graphene.
Graphene is not only the thinnest material, but also the strongest and toughest material. Its fracture strength is 200 times higher than that of the best steel. At the same time, it has good elasticity, and the tensile range can reach 20% of its own size. If you use a piece of graphene with an area of 1 square meter to make a hammock, its weight is less than 1 mg, which can bear the weight of a cat.