May SciBar: Graphene – Unexpected Science in a Pencil Line

Monday May 13th 2019

Graphene is the world’s first 2-dimensional material and the subject of the Nobel Prize winning research led by Prof. Geim and Prof. Novoselov at The University of Manchester.

Graphene was first isolated in Manchester in 2004 using the ‘Sellotape technique’, but the history of graphene dates back over 50 years. Graphene has been studied as a theoretical material since it is the building block for graphite, a material of great technological relevance, especially in the nuclear industry. Graphene is the basis for other carbon allotropes as well, such as the 1-dimensional carbon nanotube and the 0-dimensional fullerene. Graphene can be mass produced by methods such as chemical vapour deposition, solution exfoliation, etc, and kilos of graphene ink or 100s of square meters of graphene coatings can be produced these days. Graphene has a number of superlative properties – it is the strongest and lightest material, the best conductor of electricity and heat, etc. By a careful combination of these properties, a number of exciting applications of graphene are being developed. Graphene coatings could replace indium-tin-oxide for the conductive layer of touch-screens in today’s devices, or form the conductive touch coating in future bendable and flexible electronic devices. Graphene can be mixed with polymers to form strong and conducting composites. Graphene can even be used in biomedical applications such as drug screening and drug delivery. Finally, the world of 2-d materials doesn’t stop with graphene. We now have a family of 2-d materials including modifications of graphene and other unrelated 2-d materials, and new 2-d materials continue to be isolated. The research and technology of graphene will be accelerated in the newly constructed National Graphene Institute in Manchester.

Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan is a Reader in Nanomaterials in the School of Materials and the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester. He leads the Nano-functional Materials Group and his research involves the science and technology of graphene and 2-dimensional materials, particularly for applications in composites, electronics, sensors and biotechnology.

Graphene fell running shoes developed with University of Manchester School of Materials

Begins 6.30pm prompt at the Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington. All welcome, no charge. Arrive early to be sure of a seat.

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