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What is Graphene?

‘Graphene’, the word taken from the graphite that the material was originally isolated from, is an extremely electrically conductive form of elemental carbon that is composed of a single flat sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a repeating hexagonal lattice.

Graphene has remarkable characteristics: It is 200 times stronger than steel by weight, highly transparent, flexible, an incredible natural barrier (nothing penetrates graphene except hot protons) and the most conductive substance known at room temperature. Additionally, at one atom thick, it is classified as a ‘2D material’, having only two dimensions.

Graphene is one million times thinner than paper. And being made from carbon, it is one of the most available materials on earth. Graphene’s flat honeycomb pattern grants it many unusual characteristics, including the status of “strongest material in the world”. Columbia University mechanical engineering professor James Hone, once said it is “so strong it would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap”.

Graphene was isolated from the lead of a pencil and identified in 2004 by two scientists at the University of Manchester, Drs. Geim and Novoselov. Their discovery, and research on the resulting material breakthrough, earned them the Nobel prize in 2010. Since then there have been over 15,000 patents issued worldwide for products and applications involving graphene.

The highest quality large area graphene today is made via a process known as ‘chemical vapor deposition’ or CVD. This ‘single layer’ graphene is the most sought after material for the manufacture of many electronic devices including advanced batteries, sensors, medical devices, flexible and unbreakable smartphone displays, stretchable electronics, OLED’s, water desalination membranes, advanced solar cells and much more.

One of the significant hurdles keeping graphene from mass production is known as the ‘transfer issue’. What has been needed is a methodology of transferring graphene from its growth substrate in a non-destructive and sustainable way. Grolltex has created and patented a process to do just that and we are currently bringing this breakthrough to the graphene markets in the form of advanced production equipment, products made of graphene and highly engineered materials to advance this emerging field.

We will soon see graphene replace silicon and other materials employed today for the use cases of tomorrow.

For more on our patented technologies, see our ‘Company’ page.