What is Graphene?

Graphene, an allotrope of carbon, also known as graphene layer, single-layer graphene or monolayer graphene it is a one-atom- thick planar sheets of sp2-bonded carbon atoms that are densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice.

Graphene can be best represented as a pure carbon monocrystalline graphitic sheet comprising a single layer of carbon atoms densely packed into a benzene-ring structure.

Graphene was first isolated and characterized in the University of Manchester by Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, discovering many of its properties.

Graphene’s potential to change the course of innumerable industries is only limited by the imagination and cunning of business leaders who share a vision with a knowledgeable chemist, engineer, or physicist.

A sheet of carbon atoms that could be useful for almost everything and is going to change our life

Properties of a Single Layer Graphene

Graphene, the world’s thinnest material, only one carbon atom thick, arranged in a hexagonal (honeycomb-like) lattice is so special thanks to a combination of unique properties. Theoretically, a single layer of graphene has the properties listed here

an extremely high Young’s modulus
the stiffest material in the world, stiffer than diamond

a tensile strength of over 130 GPa

the best thermal conductor, outperforming diamond
has the highest surface area of all materials (~2630 m2/g)
almost transparent to light (97,7%) and electrons, better than ITO
highest intrinsic mobility, 100 times more than in Si
corrosion resistant
flexible, the most stretchable crystal
most impermeable material, even He cannot squeeze through
conducts electricity better than silver
200 times stronger than steel at the same thickness

Real and Fake Graphene

Most of the products labeled “graphene” on the market are not actually graphene. Rather, they are thin flakes of graphite that can be up to a few hundred layers thick.

The ISO standard (ISO/TS 80004-13:2017) launched the first standard
related with 2D materials nomenclature where the classification is as follows:

  • Graphene: single layer of carbon atoms;
  • Bilayer graphene: two well-defined stacked graphene layers;
  • Few-layer graphene: consisting of three to ten well-defined stacked graphene layers.

Our graphene GUP®, with a no. of layers between 2 and 5, is classified as few-
layer graphene in accordance with the ISO/TS 80004-13:2017

The following materials cannot be considered graphene based on the ISO/TS 80004-13:2017:

Graphene Oxide (GO): carbon compound with oxygen and hydrogen where the % of carbon is typically around 60-70 wt%

Reduced Graphene Oxide (eGO): carbon material produced starting from GO with thermal or chemical reduction process, wth a carbon content around 90-95 wt%

Graphene Nano Platelets (GNPs): thickness between 1 and 3nm and lateral dimensions ranging from ≈100 nm to 100 μm, it is essentially fine graphite, not graphene.

Lower quality graphene including graphene oxide results in less useful commercial products.

We suggest this paper for more detail information: DOI: 10.1002/adma.201803784

Limitations of

Not scalable production process

Single layer without defects it is possible to produce only with specific processes, like CVD, a not scalable process that allows to produce single-layer graphene in the order of grams without the possibility to propose this material for industrial applications.

High cost

The cost of production of single-layer graphene is too high to consider this material usable for most of real applications. It is handy for applications like high-frequency electronics.

Difficult to use

Graphene single layer, when produced, it has many limitations to be used in standard processes.

Verified few-layer graphene

Discover GUP®

GrapheneUP® built the first industrial production of few-layer graphene with the largest capacity in Europe