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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Graphene is a rapidly rising star on the horizon of materials science and condensed matter physics. This two-dimensional material exhibits exceptionally high crystal and electronic quality and has revealed a cornucopia of new physics and potential applications. Graphene no longer requires any proof of its importance in terms of fundamental physics. Owing to its unusual electronic spectrum, graphene has led to the emergence of a new paradigm of “relativistic” condensed matter physics, where quantum relativistic phenomena, some of which are unobservable in high energy physics, can now be mimicked and tested in table-top experiments.

Graphene represents a conceptually new class of materials that are only one atom thick and, offers new inroads into low-dimensional physics that has never ceased to surprise and continues to provide a fertile ground for applications.

High-quality graphene is strong, light, nearly transparent and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Its interactions with other materials and with light and its inherently two-dimensional nature produce unique properties, such as the bipolar transistor effect, ballistic transport of charges and large quantum oscillations.

Applications of Graphene

Potential applications include lightweight, thin, flexible, yet durable display screens, electric circuits, and solar cells, as well as various medical, chemical and industrial processes enhanced or enabled by the use of new graphene materials.


Graphene is reported to have enhanced PCR by increasing the yield of DNA product. Experiments revealed that graphene's thermal conductivity could be the main factor behind this result. Graphene yields DNA product equivalent to positive control with up to 65% reduction in PCR cycles.

Integrated Circuits

In integrated circuits, graphene has a high carrier mobility, as well as low noise, used as a channel in a field-effect transistor. Single sheets of graphene are hard to produce and even harder to make on an appropriate substrate.


Graphene oxide can be reduced and oxidized using electrical stimulus. Controlled reduction and oxidation in two-terminal devices containing multilayer graphene oxide films are the result of switching between partially reduced graphene oxide and graphene, a process that modifies the electronic and optical properties. Oxidation and reduction are related to resistive switching.

Transparent conducting electrodes

Graphene's high electrical conductivity and high optical transparency make it a candidate for transparent conducting electrodes, required for such applications as touchscreens, liquid crystal displays, organic photovoltaic cells, and organic light-emitting diodes. Graphene's mechanical strength and flexibility are advantageous compared to indium tin oxide, which is brittle.

Graphene microphone

The world's first graphene audio speaker is an earphone, tiny and simple, not tuned or optimised and yet as good as any audio speaker in the world.

Solar cells

Silicon,  the  material used  in  solar  cells,  absorbs  one  light  particle  and  emits one electron. Replacing silicon with graphene gives extra efficient solar cells, so good that they can beat coal on electricity price easily when developed.


Graphene's modifiable chemistry, large surface area, atomic thickness and molecularly gatable structure make antibody-functionalized graphene sheets excellent candidates for mammalian and microbial detection and diagnosis devices

Thermal Management

Researchers reported that a three-dimensional, vertically aligned, functionalized multilayer graphene architecture can be an approach for graphene-based thermal interfacial materials (TIMs) with superior thermal conductivity and ultra-low interfacial thermal resistance between graphene and metal. Graphene-metal composites can be utilized in thermal interface materials.

Graphene in India

Researchers in India have discovered how to build solar panels using graphene – a development that would make widespread solar energy economical.

Graphene solar panels have several advantages over silicon solar panels – starting with a better ability to absorb light.

Source: NPCS Team

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