Editorial Feature

Graphene Valley? Top 5 Uses of Graphene that could change the world

Graphene - one atom thick layer of graphite.

Graphene - one atom thick layer of graphite. Image Credits: Photos.com

Graphene is a material that has been around for a number of years however; it is only in the past few years that Graphene has been touted as a ‘wonder material’.

‘Graphene is the future…’

With a range of attractive material properties, such as high strength, thermal and electrical conductivity, the application of Graphene is under consideration in many research labs and board rooms.

Here are five innovations that incorporate graphene, offering a small insight at what this ‘wonder material’ is capable of.
 

his thin, flexible, material could be used to power homes, buildings as well as charging capabilities for mobile and tablet technology.

This thin, flexible, material could be used to power homes, buildings as well as charging capabilities for mobile and tablet technology. Image Credits: The University of Manchester

1) Graphene Paint

Scientists from the University of Manchester have been able to combine graphene with the transition metal, dichalcogenides.

A material that is so thin and flexible, it can absorb sunlight which can produce electricity at the same rates of solar panels.

This material doesn’t just potentially have the ability to power homes but also could be incorporated in smartphones and tablets. Imagine a solar powered smartphone? Don’t imagine; it’s already here…

Will smart windows be used in office buildings across the world?

Will smart windows be used in office buildings across the world? Image Credits: Photos.com

2) Smart Windows

Absorbing only 2.3% of light with the ability of being an electrical conductor is always going to be a benefit.

A layer of liquid crystals placed between graphene filled electrodes as well as a transparent polymer, could allow windows to restrict light. A dimmer-switch for natural light.
 

Lightweight material that could save on fuel.

Lightweight material that could save on fuel. Image Credits: Photos.com

3) Composites – Graphene Plastics

With Graphene being one of the most stiffest, lightweight materials, it is very easy to see how it could be used and combined with plastics.

Graphene can be easily mixed with epoxy that could be used to replace metals within the automotive and aerospace industry. Imagine cars and planes that are more lightweight?

Not only would it be more fuel efficient, for aerospace, the conductiveness of graphene-plastic composites would also help in electrical storms or interference.

Incorporating graphene in bionic limbs.

Incorporating graphene in bionic limbs. Image Credits: Photos.com

4) Graphene in Living Tissue

Evolutionary research has developed a way of potentially using graphene to connect with neurons in the brain. So, with bionic limbs, this has the potential of allowing people with spinal injuries and missing limbs to learn how to use them again.

Using Graphene in desalination.

Using Graphene in desalination. Image Credits: Photos.com

5) Drinkable Clean Water

Talking about ‘saving the world’, researchers at MIT have developed a graphene filter. This filter would be constructed with tiny holes, which would keep salt out making saltwater drinkable.

Summary

By just stating five potential uses of this 'wonder material' doesn't even scratch the surface at the capabilities of graphene.

Could this be a material that could change the way we live? Will there be a time where we will wonder how we ever lived without graphene? One things for sure, graphene is here to stay.

Sources and Further Reading

Kris Walker

Written by

Kris Walker

Kris has a BA(hons) in Media & Performance from the University of Salford. Aside from overseeing the editorial and video teams, Kris can be found in far flung corners of the world capturing the story behind the science on behalf of our clients. Outside of work, Kris is finally seeing a return on 25 years of hurt supporting Manchester City.

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Comments

  1. Harry Elliott Schwartz Harry Elliott Schwartz United States says:

    Sounds interesting

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoNano.com.

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