Nanotechnology's new darling: graphene

Nanotechnology's new darling: graphene

For nanotechnology watchers who are experiencing nanotube fatigue, Scientific American recaps a newer nanotech material capturing the imagination:

Called graphene, it is essentially a nanotube unrolled—a single layer of atoms arranged like a honeycomb. The difference may sound cosmetic, but when the goal is manipulating things that are a few atoms thick, going from tube to sheet makes a big difference.

Although graphene, too, faces many obstacles on the road to applications, its combination of exotic physics and high-tech potential is attracting scores of researchers. “For the moment there is at least a big hope … that graphene might be the future,” says physicist Andre Geim of the University of Manchester in England, who first isolated it in 2004.

Carbon, in all its forms, is expected to play an increasing role as nanotechnology advances, especially the 3D version (diamond and diamondoid). —Christine

By | 2017-06-01T14:24:22+00:00 April 11th, 2007|Nano, Nanodot, Nanoscale Bulk Technologies, Nanotechnology|7 Comments

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  1. Rob Juneau April 12, 2007 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Hello Christine.

    Is this a good place for me to be asking simple questions about carbon-carbon bonds? Too often the more I think I understand, the more confusing it all gets. Maybe some of your other readers can point me in useful directions?

    Thanks to all,


  2. Christine Peterson April 12, 2007 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Rob — Feel free to ask questions here. Another place to try:

    There are also nanotech discussion groups on many of the social networking sites.


  3. Rob Juneau April 13, 2007 at 8:51 am - Reply

    You’re the best. What is the difference between a carbon-carbon bond and a double carbon bond? Are either relevant to the production and use of graphene?


  4. Christine Peterson April 13, 2007 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    I believe when they say “carbon-carbon bond” they normally mean a single bond between two carbon atoms. A double carbon bond means a “double bond”, which is kind of like a double-strength bond, between two carbon atoms. Graphene bonds are “aromatic”, which in this case is sort of in between single and double.

    You can learn more about this by starting with the Wikipedia entry on graphene. A good high school chemistry text should explain these matters more simply than Wikipedia does, I think. You might try the Wikibooks on General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry:


  5. Rob Juneau April 14, 2007 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Thanks very much. With any luck, I’ll be back with more interesting questions soon.


  6. Phillip Huggan April 17, 2007 at 3:05 pm - Reply
  7. Rob Juneau April 26, 2007 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    A useful orientation, Phillip, thank you. Particularly interested in the work of Cumings and Zettl, and of the Stevens and Nguyen groups mentioned in the second and third paragraphs of the section on nanowelding, I believe you’ve saved me a lot of time and I appreciate it.

    Are you aware of any images depicting the types of carbon bonds (possibly at high and low temps and/or under stress?) that I might also have a look at?


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