Graphene and Beyond

Six years ago, graphene was heralded as one of the most important materials of the 21st century. It is extremely strong, thin, and most important, can conduct electricity better than any other known material.

In this past week, two graphene-like materials have hit the news. A research team from the University of Exeter’s Centre for Graphene Science has invented a new material called GraphExeter. It is not only very conductive but also lightweight, flexible, and transparent. GraphExeter can possibly be used to make solar panels up to 30% more efficient or to make low-cost electronic clothing.

Researchers in Germany and France have created silicene by condensing silicon vapor into a single layer of atoms. The biggest benefit of silicene is that it would be more compatible with silicon-based devices and chips.

Smart clothing anyone?

Author: Susan Hallinan

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