Graphene is the first two-dimensional material known to man. While most materials have a structure featuring atoms arranged in a 3D structure, graphene is made up of a single layer of carbon atoms. In essence, it’s a sheet of carbon with the thickness of one atom.
Graphene was isolated from graphite, which is another form of carbon, in 2004, by two professors from University of Manchester, Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov. Their work brought them the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.
The single layer of atoms forms a 2D honeycomb structure.
Graphene maintains all the advantages of carbon in terms of being lightweight and hardness.
Today the graphene applications in the field of mobile technology are made by transparent and flexible screens, next-generation batteries and more powerful processors.
Next-generation batteries will move away from electrochemical cells as the lithium-ion towards super capacitors, which store energy in an electric field instead of a controlled chemical reaction.
Super capacitors achieve much quicker charging times in the order of seconds and they are more durable.
The production costs currently would be very expensive but a higher volume production could bring a considerable reduction in costs.
Better battery technology is sorely needed. Thanks to graphene, cheap super capacitors could enable batteries that last for much longer and charge almost instantly.
This would result in lower power consumption and less environmental impact.
Flexible and semitransparent screens are already being introduced by some mobile manufacturers. These applications utilize a thin layer of OLEDs incorporated into a flexible sheet of plastic.
The new applications based on graphene are significantly thinner and stronger.
These applications will be available for consumer use in the next five years and will lead to a complete re-design of the user interfaces.
Powerful graphene processors
Scientific studies have demonstrated the high electrical conductivity and high temperature resistance of the graphene at room temperature.
These properties make it an excellent substitute of the silicon in making processors, improving significantly speed and efficiency, in particularly, they enhance the thermal performance of microprocessors.
Graphene has the potential to improve the performance of computing technologies in fields such as global climate prediction, space science, big data analysis, and research on artificial intelligence.
These are all fields that always required more computational power and higher efficiency.
In addition, the applications of graphene can significantly contribute to the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), improving information processing and the connection speed between things.