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WHAT IS GRAPHENE?
WHY ALL THE EXCITEMENT?

GRAPHENE IS THE THINNEST MATERIAL EVER ISOLATED. IT IS A SINGLE SHEET OF CARBON ATOMS ARRANGED IN A HEXAGONAL NETWORK. GRAPHENE’S UNIQUE STRUCTURE GIVES RISE TO A SERIES OF OUTSTANDING PHYSICAL PROPERTIES.

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Graphene Properties

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Thinnest

0.345nm or just one carbon atom thick

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Strongest

200x stronger than steel at
the same thickness

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Most Flexible

Stretches up to 20% of length

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Best Barrier

Fully impermeable – even to helium gas

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Most Conductive (Electrical)

1 million times more conductive than copper

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Most Conductive (Thermal)

5,000 W/mK in all directions (isotropic)

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Most Transparent

Absorbs only about 2.3% of visible light

It is important to know the difference between graphite and graphene, as graphene properties are unique and exceed those of graphite.

Graphite is a mineral composed of many layers of graphene, with chemical bonds similar in strength to those found in diamond. Graphene, on the other hand, is the strongest material ever found and it is more than 40 times stronger than diamond.

The superlative properties of graphene ensure that graphene products bring disruptive performance improvements when utilised in a range of industrial applications.

What is Graphene made of?

Graphene, is a 2D allotrope of carbon which was first isolated and characterised in 2004[1]. Graphene consists of single or few layers of carbon atoms within a sp2 network.  The sp2 network is a hexagonal array of carbon atoms which are capable of stacking to form a lattice. When multiple layers (typically >10) are stacked together the material is considered to be graphite, not graphene.

Graphene exists in two forms as a single-atom thick 2D film or as graphene platelets.  Producing high-purity and high-performing graphene nanoplatelets in commercially useful quantities is a quest which First Graphene has pioneered.

[1] Novoselov KS, Geim AK et al, Science 2004;306(5696):19666–9