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How to Make Your Own Graphene

 

This here is some normal every day graphite powder, which is layers and layers of carbon atoms, all stacked up like a deck of cards.

But then, between the sellotape, if I was to separate it out, every time I pull these apart, I separate these layers in half.  And in half again.  And in half again.

And, basically, I’m going through however many millions and billions of layers of carbon atoms down to just one carbon atom thick, these layers, is what you can get down to in some cases.

So if we put this under the microscope now we could see how thin they’ve actually gotten because when they get down to one atom thick they become very transparent compared to the thick bits of graphite which are opaque and give you a nice black colour.

It’s just as simple as that, in a couple of tugs of a bit of sellotape you’ve created graphene, the strongest material in the world.

It was…basically, when you get graphite, you get this bit of sellotape on the top, really, and it’s a way of cleaning the surface.  You just get a bit of tape, and you pull it off.  And now most people throw it away, that little bit that you’ve taken away, but if you can keep doing it, you get thinner and thinner, and that’s what they did.  There was a lot of analysis going into what it was and how it…or the properties that it had, in order to get the Nobel Prize for it, but it did just come from sellotape and graphite, which is quite exciting, yeah?

It’s the kind of thing you can do at events and it’s as simple as that.  People can be very excited by making their own graphene in about thirty seconds.