Why Is Graphene So Special?


Graphene is the material that is set to change the world, possessing many stunning properties. It is a remarkable material, a two-dimensional form of carbon that is very strong, lightweight, conductive and transparent.

The Latest News has covered a number of potential applications for graphene including graphene-based electrodes that can be successfully implanted in the brain and can interface with neurones, which may help people with epilepsy; the use of graphene as synthetic skin for a new generation of robots; using graphene to help with the construction of lighter aircraft, to boost fuel efficiency; and improving the speed and efficiency of electronic devices.

How and why graphene behaves the way it does is down to several factors, some of which remain unknown. One new piece of research pushes the scientific understanding of graphene further forwards.

Scientists based at Harvard and Raytheon BBN Technology have noted electrons in graphene not behaving as expected in a metal, but instead behaving like they would in a fluid. This is thought to relate to graphene’s two-dimensional structure. The electrons have been observed moving very quickly, at 1/300 of the speed of light.

It is hoped that harnessing this newly discovered property of graphene will lead to a novel thermoelectric devices.

The findings are published in the journal Science, with the paper titled “Observation of the Dirac fluid and the breakdown of the Wiedemann-Franz law in graphene.”

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.

  • Daphne Girl

    no doubt, if it is useful, it will be made unaffordable. I’m always amazed at technology, and what isn’t done with it.