Science & Technology
20th Dec, 2018
Scientists have found a potential new application of graphene for detecting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) — a progressive brain disorder for which there is currently “no objective diagnostic test.”
- It is the thinnest (one atom thick) compound known to man, the lightest material known (1 sq mt weighing around 0.77mg), the strongest compound discovered (between 100-300 times stronger than steel and with a tensile stiffness of 150,000,000 psi), the best conductor of heat at room temperature and also the best conductor of electricity known (electron mobility is more than 200,000 cm2·V−1·s−1).
- Graphene is being used to boost not only the capacity and charge rate of batteries but also the longevity. Currently, while such materials as silicone are able to store large amounts of energy, that potential amount diminishes drastically on every recharge.
- With graphene tin oxide being used as an anode in lithium ion batteries for example, batteries can be made to last much longer between charges (potential capacity has increased by a factor of 10), and with almost no reduction in storage capacity between charges, effectively making technology such as electronically powered vehicles a much more viable transport solution in the future. This means that batteries (or capacitors) can be developed to last much longer and at higher capacities than previously realised. Also, it means that electronic devices may be able to be charged within seconds.
- Graphene is highly inert and so can act as a corrosion barrier between oxygen and water diffusion. Future vehicles could be made to be corrosion resistant as graphene can be made to be grown onto any metal surface (given the right conditions).
- Due to its strength, graphene is also being developed as a potential replacement for Kevlar in protective clothing, and will eventually be seen in vehicle manufacture and possibly even used as a building material.