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Graphene is just an atomic layer of graphite-a layer of sp2-bonded carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal or honeycomb lattice. Graphite is a common mineral composed of multiple layers of graphene. The structural composition of graphene and graphite and their manufacturing methods are slightly different. This article focuses on the difference between these two materials.
Graphite is one of the three naturally occurring allotropes of carbon. It naturally occurs in metamorphic rocks in different parts of the world, including some parts of South America, Asia and North America. This mineral is formed due to the reduction of deposited carbon compounds during metamorphism.
The chemical bonds in graphite are similar to those in diamond. However, the lattice structure of carbon atoms contributes to the difference in hardness of these two compounds; graphite contains two-dimensional lattice bonds, while diamond contains three-dimensional lattice bonds. The carbon atoms in each layer of graphite contain weaker intermolecular bonds. This allows the layers to slide against each other, making graphite a soft and ductile material.
Various studies have proved that graphite is an excellent mineral with several unique properties. It conducts heat and electricity, and maintains the highest natural strength and rigidity even at temperatures exceeding 3600degC. This material is self-lubricating and also resistant to chemicals.
Although there are different forms of carbon, graphite is very stable under standard conditions. According to its form, graphite is widely used in various applications.
Graphite has unique properties that exceed graphite. Although graphite is often used for reinforcement of steel bars, it cannot be used alone as a structural material due to its thin plane. On the contrary, graphene is the strongest material ever; it is more than 40 times stronger than diamond and more than 300 times stronger than A36 structural steel.
Because graphite has a planar structure, its electronic, acoustic and thermal properties are highly anisotropic. This means that phonons are easier to pass through an airplane than when passing through an airplane. However, graphene has a very high electron mobility, and like graphite, since there are free p(p) electrons in each carbon atom, it is a good electrical conductor.
However, graphene has a much higher electrical conductivity than graphite, which is due to the appearance of quasi-particles, which are electrons, which function as if they have no mass and can travel long distances without scattering. In order to fully achieve this high conductivity, doping is required to overcome the zero density of the state that can be visualized at the Dirac point of graphene.
Graphene production or separation
Scientists use many techniques to produce graphene. Mechanical peeling, also known as tape technology, is one of the effective ways to create single-layer and few-layer graphene. However, various research institutions around the world are trying to find the most effective way to efficiently create high-quality graphene on a large scale.
Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is the most suitable technology for producing single-layer or several-layer graphene. This technology can extract carbon atoms from carbon-rich sources through reduction. However, the main disadvantage of this technology is that it is difficult to locate a suitable substrate to grow the graphene layer, and it is difficult to remove the graphene layer from the substrate without changing or destroying the atomic structure of the graphene.
Other techniques used for graphene growth are ultrasonic treatment, thermal engineering, carbon dioxide reduction, cut open carbon nanotubes and reduction of graphite oxide. The latter technique, which uses heat to reduce graphite oxide to graphene, has recently attracted great attention due to reduced production costs. Nevertheless, the quality of the graphene currently produced cannot meet the theoretical potential of the material, and more time is needed to complete it.
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