Posted by: Robert Janssen | October 8, 2010

Graphene: “first two-dimensional material observed so far”

Graphene is a one-atom-thick planar sheet of sp2-bonded carbon atoms that are densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice. Graphene is most easily visualized as an atomic-scale chicken wire made of carbon atoms and their bonds. The name comes from graphite + -ene. The crystalline or “flake” form of graphite consists of many graphene sheets stacked together.

The carbon-carbon bond length in graphene is about 0.142 nm, which means that a stack of 7 million sheets would be only one millimeter thick. Graphene is the basic structural element of some carbon allotropes including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes. It can also be considered as an indefinitely large aromatic molecule, the limiting case of the family of flat polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons called graphenes. The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 was awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”.

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