A sheet of graphene is thin, just a single atom thick. LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/CORBIS

NANOTECHNOLOGY

Top 10 Uses for the World’s Strongest Material

FEB 12, 2013 01:50 PM ET // BY JESSE EMSPAK

Graphene is strong, lightweight, conducts electricity and resists rust.

Graphene is the world’s new wonder material. It’s the thinnest electronic material ever invented, consisting of a layer of carbon atoms just a single atom thick — the atoms are arranged in a hexagonal pattern. It weighs almost nothing, coming in at only 0.77 grams for a square meter.

But it’s no lightweight. Graphene is 100 times stronger than steel of the same thickness. It conducts both heat and electricity better than copper, and has outstanding optical and mechanical properties. If it could be produced on an industrial scale, graphene might revolutionize fields such as electronics and even body armor. Recently, the European Union awarded the Finnish company Nokia a $1.3 billion research grant to commercialize graphene. What follows are 10 areas in which graphene could make a huge difference — some sooner than you think.

Read more: World's Strongest Material: Top 10 Uses : Discovery News.

Home           Top of page