Researchers recently created the world’s first functional semiconductor made from graphene.
- Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice.
- It is the building-block of Graphite (which is used, among others things, in pencil tips).
- It was first isolated in 2004.
- Graphene is the world's thinnest material; it is only one atom thick, one million times thinner than human hair.
- However, it is very strong, stronger than steel and diamond.
- It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. It conducts electricity better than copper.
- It is almost perfectly transparent, as it absorbs only 2% of light.
- It is impermeable to gases, even those as light as hydrogen and helium.
- Mechanical strength: It can be used to enhance the strength of other materials.
- Thermal applications:
- It is a great material for making heat-spreading solutions, such as heat sinks or heat dissipation films.
- This could be useful in both microelectronics (for example, to make LED lighting more efficient and longer-lasting) and in larger applications, for example, thermal foils for mobile devices.
- Energy storage:
- Since graphene is the world's thinnest material, it also has an extremely high surface-area-to-volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material for use in batteries and supercapacitors.
- Graphene may enable batteries and supercapacitors (and even fuel cells) that can store more energy and charge faster, too.
- It has a lot of promise for additional applications: anti-corrosion coatings and paints, efficient and precise sensors, faster and more efficient electronics, flexible displays, efficient solar panels, faster DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and more.
Q1) What is a Semiconductor?
A semiconductor is a substance that has specific electrical properties that enable it to serve as a foundation for computers and other electronic devices. It is typically a solid chemical element or compound that conducts electricity under certain conditions but not others. This makes it an ideal medium to control electrical current and everyday electrical appliances.