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Graphene Can Handle 1,000x More Current, Practical Applications on the Way!

Dec 26, 2016 08:37 AM EST

Graphene is already an amazing material as it is. However, newer studies at the end of the year have revealed that graphene is not yet done surprising us.

According to Science Alert, a new study has revealed that graphene is actually able to withstand far more current than we previously anticipated. This makes graphene more than just a regular material, but a perfect building block for next-gen ultra-fast electronic devices.

According to Elisabeth Gruber from the TU Wien in Austria and her team, their study found out that the current density of graphene is 1,000 times higher than that which would lead to destruction of the material under "normal" circumstances.

This is in context to recent experiments that deal with the efficiency of graphene in conducting electricity. It has been successfully turned into a superconductor, capable of shuttling electrons with zero resistance.

Now it appears graphene can withstand much more extreme currents without suffering damage. The previous experiment was big enough for graphene to keep its title of "wonder material" for another year, but the latest study takes this on a whole other level.

The latest study looked not at the efficiency of electron flow but just ow much current the material could handle. This is specifically on just how many electrons it could handle charging through it in a short space of time.

According to Science Alert, in case there's a need for a quick refresher, graphene is a one-atom thick, honeycomb-latticed sheet of carbon that displays some incredible properties on the nano scale. It's stronger than steel, harder than diamond and very incredibly flexible. However, it now appears to be capable of withstanding high-charge density.

In order to figure this out, researchers blasted positively-charged xenon ions at a sheet of graphene. This caused large numbers of electrons to be ripped away from the graphene where they smashed through.

Imagine what these xenon ions ripping away graphene's electrons like throwing a tennis ball at a dusty sheet.

A single xenon ion can steal more than 20 electrons in a tiny area of a graphene film, which means the surrounding carbon atoms were left extremely positively-charged.

The ion also punches an entire carbon atom out of the graphene sheet as it passes through, but this has a much smaller effect than the loss of all electrons.

In a normal material, electrons would rapidly try to fix the imbalance. However it couldn't happen quickly enough so the material would be breaking down.Either way, graphene appears to be capable of filling its gaping electron hole with brand new electrons almost instantly. Meaning it can transport a hugely-high density current in quite a short period of time.  

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