The top two images of graphite are from the experiment and the lower images were produced through theoretical calculations. The images from left to right show more displacement of the top layer of graphite and its transition to graphene.
University of Arkansas physicists have found a way to systematically study and control the transition of graphite, the "lead" found in pencils, to graphene, one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials known, an important step in the process of learning to use this material in modern day technology.
Peng Xu, Paul Thibado, Yurong Yang, Laurent Bellaiche and their colleagues report their findings in the journal Carbon.
Physicists at the University of Manchester first isolated graphene, a one atom thick sheet of carbon atoms, by using Scotch tape to lift only the top layer off of the other layers of graphite. Electrons moving through graphite have mass and encounter resistance, but electrons moving through graphene are massless and encounter almost no resistance, which makes graphene an excellent candidate material for future energy needs and for quantum computing for enormous calculations while using little energy.
However, graphene is a new material only discovered in 2004, and many things remain unknown about its properties. . .View Full Article