Since its discovery just a decade ago, both scientists and IT experts, have argued that graphene is the material of the future. They were hoping to replace the silicon in some electronic components and to improve the battery’s efficiently in order to enable the production of high-performance touch screens. Graphene has the thickness of an atom, it’s stronger than steel, harder than diamond and its conductivity is amazing.
Until the graphene was used for these purposes, the scientists have launched several investigations, trying to understand its structure. A new study initiated by the scientist from Harvard University and Rayton BBN Technology, USA, and published in Science Daily, has resulted in a new level of physics understanding behind this unique material. The team managed to obtain a very pure graphene and to subsequently measure the thermal conductivity.
The specialists led by professor Philip Kim hopes that the techniques they designed will be used to produce very efficient devices from a thermoelectric point of view. In one of the experiments they conducted, the experts have introduced a graphene layer with a thickness of just one atom, between several layers, produced from a crystal with an atomic structure similar to graphene.
Then, physicists have poured onto the graphene’s surface a “thermal soup”, that contained both negatively and positively charged particles. The experiment’s results amazed the researchers. The particles traveled on the graphene’s surface in the form of thermal currents, but electrical too. Basically, the graphene’s structure acts like a freeway for electrons that moves with an incredible speed of 1/300 the speed of light. Such an intense interactions between particles were not observed in the case of other metals so far.