Graphene Properties, Applications, and Production

Chemistry, Physics
[caption id="attachment_16970" align="alignright" width="406"] Graphene Lattice - By AlexanderAlUS - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0[/caption] Carbon varieties include diamonds, graphite1, soot, Buckminsterfullerene, and tiny nanotubes. Despite these amazing forms, there is still another form of carbon, perhaps the most amazing of all. Graphene. Discovery Graphene is a super material. For its successful isolation, AndrĂ© Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, were awarded the 2010 Nobel prize. Each sheet is one atom thick. It resembles a hurricane fence. First Production The first effort at isolation involved thinning a pad of graphite. Adhesive tape was attached to the sides of the pad it was pulled apart. In time, a single layer was left. There are two easy ways to visualize this. First, imagine a flaky biscuit with many layers. You peel the layers off,…
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Why is Soapstone Slippery?

[caption id="attachment_8570" align="alignright" width="440"] A 12th century soapstone Byzantine relief.[/caption] Most rocks are rough to the touch. Some are smooth. Asbestos is stringy. Sulfur is brittle. One very interesting rock variety is soapstone. It is called smooth and slippery. What makes soapstone slippery? I was raised in the North then moved to the South to where soapstone is is mined, Nelson County, Virginia. I take special interest in the stuff. As a young child, I watched spellbound as my father took a handheld soapstone and used it to sharpen our enormous carving knife. General Rock Types As kids we were taught there are three types of rock, sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock. Sedimentary rock forms from mineral and organic materials near at earth's surface. These deposits form rock deposits over…
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