When I heard about this, I was delighted because of my fascination with graphene, which is a terribly impressive material in many ways.
When I say that a material is “jaw-dropping,” I will not let you down, it will surprise you: it has demonstrated 10 times the strength of steel; it has tremendous malleability and exceptional rigidity; it has electrical and thermal conductivity comparable to that of copper; and it does not rust. It is six times lighter than steel, two times harder, and has exhibited 13 times the resistance to bending.
This versatility makes it what some would call a “wonder material.”
Researchers at the Institute of Photonic Science (ICFO) — in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA; Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Germany; and Graphenea S.L. Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain — have also found that, in graphene, a single photon light that it absorbs can be converted into several electrons (hence, causing it to generate a relatively large electric current).
This can also benefit light sensors, which uses solar cell technology.
The key word is “absorbs,” because no material can absorb all the light that hits it, some will always bounce off it. This signifies that graphene might facilitate the production of highly efficient solar cells. So, despite the large amount of electrons produced for every photon, it does need to absorb enough photons to be efficient.
More Outstanding Benefits of Graphene
- Graphene can be a very useful semiconductor. It was used by IBM to build a ground-breaking 155 GHZ transistor. It can be a powerful ultracapacitor by spraying graphene ink onto paper. It was used to create a solar cell also by spraying it onto paper.
- Graphene can make automobiles lighter and stronger, but without compromising the benefits of the conventional steel crumple-zone concept as carbon fiber does (since it cannot crumple like steel, but will shatter instead).
- Graphene can make airplanes and wind turbine blades lighter, but without compromising their chassis’ and blades’ ability to act as lightning rods to divert lightning away from vulnerable areas.
Finally, I won’t disappoint you by saying that it is a newly discovered or rare material that may run out in the future. It can be produced by us humans from carbon, which is one of the most abundant elements in the world.