Graphene: the nano-sized material with a massive future


Story highlights

Graphene is the world's first two-dimensional material to be discovered

No material is stronger, thinner or more conductive than graphene

MIT professor Tomas Palacios says graphene will change all our lives

Numerous applications for graphene in fields of computing, energy and medicine

CNN —  

Ever since it was discovered in 2004, graphene has been hailed as a natural wonder of the materials world destined to transform our lives in the 21st century.

Graphene’s amazing properties excite and confound in equal measure. How can something one million times thinner than a human hair be 300 times stronger than steel and 1,000 times more conductive than silicon?

CNN Labs asked the head of MIT’s graphene research department, Tomas Palacios, to explain why graphene is such a special material and what we can expect it to do for us in the future.

CNN: What is graphene?

Tomas Palacios (TP): Graphene is a one-atom thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice.

This special atomic arrangement gives graphene truly unique properties. For example electrical currents in graphene move faster than in any other material we know of.

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