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Graphene: The Nano-Sized Material That’s Going to Change the World

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Thinner than a human hair, 300 times stronger than steel, 1000 times more conductive than silicon

Have you heard of graphene? Because it could be the new material of the future. First developed in 2004, graphene is "one million times thinner than a human hair be 300 times stronger than steel and 1,000 times more conductive than silicon". CNN interviewed a major graphene researcher:
 
Ever since it was discovered in 2004, graphene has been hailed as a natural wonder of the materials world destined to transform our lives in the 21st century.

Graphene's amazing properties excite and confound in equal measure. How can something one million times thinner than a human hair be 300 times stronger than steel and 1,000 times more conductive than silicon?

CNN Labs asked the head of MIT's graphene research department, Tomas Palacios, to explain why graphene is such a special material and what we can expect it to do for us in the future.
 
CNN: What is graphene?

Tomas Palacios (TP): Graphene is a one-atom thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice.

This special atomic arrangement gives graphene truly unique properties. For example electrical currents in graphene move faster than in any other material we know of.
 
Heat can also move in graphene very fast and it is the best thermal conductor that we have. On top of this, graphene is the thinnest material in the world as well as the strongest, much stronger than steel and, of course, much lighter.

Finally, because it is only one atom thick, it is perfectly transparent and flexible.

Read the full interview here

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