24 Oct Graphene in 5 questions
Carbon Waters is now able to produce a form of graphene that is both stable and easy to use, opening the way to numerous industrial applications. But why is graphene so revolutionary? Graphene is a material unlike any other.
What are graphene characteristics?
Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms which means that it is just one atom thick. For Alain Pénicaud, Director of Research at CNRS and specialist in the subject, “it is the ultimate membrane, an all-surface material”. 1 m² of graphene weighs around 0.77 mg.
What are graphene properties?
Within this carbon “sheet”, the atoms are separated by very short bonds, in the region of 0.335 mm. This characteristic gives it exceptional mechanical strength: 1 mm² of graphene is able to withstand a pressure of up to 2 tonnes. “It also possesses remarkable chemical inertness, making it stable where many metals start to melt or oxidise”, stated Alain Pénicaud. It is also an excellent electrical conductor.
What are graphene applications?
A single layer is all you need to form an impenetrable barrier that protects against moisture or gases. Graphene is starting to find applications in the industrial world as a surface barrier, in particular for corrosion resistance, but also for making an insulating material conductive.
“You can create a barrier with graphene, but it would not be homogeneous, whereas a liquid containing graphene can be deposited over the entire surface that you want to protect”, added Alain Pénicaud. It has a wide range of applications in fields as varied as energy, aeronautics, building or microelectronics.
How graphene is produced?
That is THE key question: how to obtain high quality graphene in sufficient quantities with a economically viable process. Production methods using mechanical splitting or electric shocks are not transposable to large scale production or do not obtain graphene of high enough quality. The graphene water developed by Carbon Waters constitutes the technological answer to these production challenges, but also to application processes since it also produces a material that is easy to handle.
The process developed by Carbon Waters now makes it possible to produce large quantities of a graphene that can be used to create homogeneous coatings. The next stage, already well under way, involves managing industrial projects that are able to optimise the exceptional properties of graphene.