Connect to share and comment

Graphene said to be the thinnest, strongest material on the planet

While studying how to create the material, the researchers developed a new method for a graphene substrate that can survive at high temperatures.

grapheneEnlarge
Researchers say that they're one step closer to making graphene for commercial use. (YouTube/Screengrab)

Graphene is the strongest and thinnest material on the planet, say scientists.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology in Colorado said in a recent study that they have come closer than ever to making the substance available for commercial use.

While studying how to create the material, the researchers developed a new method for a graphene substrate - a thin layer of copper with crystalline grains that are several centimeters in size but are able to survive at high temperatures.

Too complicated? Just know this: graphene is made up of a single layer of carbon atoms and is often so thin it's considered 2-D.

Research is still being conducted into how the honeycombed-shaped material can be used for commercial purposes. How it is purposed depends on how the atoms in the material are arranged.

The problem has been that the copper needed to "grow" the material could not withstand the temperatures needed.

This research seems to solve that problem, bringing the material one step closer to widespread use.

Being cheap, non-toxic, highly-conductive and very strong, the material could be used for things like solar cells and even space suits.

It is said to be so strong that it would take an elephant standing on a pencil with its full weight to break through a sheet of it.

The findings are published in the journal AIP Advances.

If you need more help understanding this complex material, watch this video:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/131207/graphene-said-be-the-thinnest-strongest-material-the-planet