Graphene: structure and shape

Graphene is a two-dimensional carbon allotrope. It is composed of carbon atoms positioned in a hexagonal design, which can be said to resemble a chicken wire.

Graphene structure image

A single layer of carbon atoms arranged in such a honeycomb structure forms a single graphene sheet. Several sheets stacked one on top of the other are regarded as multi-layer graphene, up to the point where the material becomes graphite (usually over about 30 layers, although clear standardization is severely lacking at the moment). Graphite, a 3D crystal composed of weakly coupled graphene layers, is a relatively common material – used in pencil tips, batteries and more.

In graphene, each carbon atom is covalently bonded to three other carbon atoms. Thanks to the the strength of the covalent bonds between carbon atoms, graphene boasts great stability and a very high tensile strength (the force in which you can stretch something before it breaks). Since graphene is flat, every atom is on the surface and is accessible from both sides, so there is more interaction with surrounding molecules. Also, the carbon atoms are bonded to only three other atoms, although they have the capability to bond to a fourth atom. This capability, combined with the aforementioned tensile strength and high surface area to volume ratio of graphene may make it appealing for use in composite materials. Graphene also enjoys electron mobility that is higher than any known material and researchers are developing methods to use this property in electronics.

Using graphene, it should someday be possible to make transistors and other electronic devices that are much thinner than devices made of traditional materials, and this is only one example of graphene’s potential in the electronics field. Since graphene is electrically conductive, transparent, strong, and flexible, it may also be an attractive material for use in touch screens. Graphene also has very high thermal conductivity and so, could be used to dissipate heat from electronic circuits.

Graphene as the basis of other carbon structures

Graphene can be a parent form for many carbon structures, like the above-mentioned graphite, carbon nanotubes (which can been viewed as rolled-up sheets of graphene formed into tubes) and buckyballs (spherical structures with a cage-like structure made from graphene only with some hexagonal rings replaced by pentagonal rings).

Sonu Gulfam
Sonu Gulfam is a beloved thought leader in the areas of online education, web developing, content writer. He overcame career adversity at an early age by finding his own path and true passion. Despite his success in web developing, Gulfam’s greatest joys are spending time with his family and friends as well as helping inspire and educate others on how to succeed with their own entrepreneurial careers. Since 2016, however, he’s become more interested in areas of web developing, specifically in the world of website design. Sonu is routinely praised for his authentic leadership style and business principles. Countless podcasts and blogs have featured his story and the techniques he uses to manage and grow this audience. Presently, Gulfam enjoys focusing on writing books, growing his top-ranked business website, and learning more about changing education and how kids learn.