Despite endless list of graphene applications, graphene cost is a key reason why it is not widely used in industry and medicine. There are only few vendors of graphene-related products. The price of graphene has come down since 2010. Sheet of graphene of the size of a postage stamp cost this year tens of thousands of dollars. Since then, the technology of graphene production has improved. However, graphene still remains an expensive commodity.
What is graphene
In these days, graphene plays leading experimental role in nanotechnology engineering. The material is only one-atom thick sheet of carbon. Despite it, this two-dimensional layer is very strong and stable. It dispenses with excellent electrical and physical properties. You can know more about discovery of graphene here.
Graphene – the “holy grail”
Researchers are excited about graphene’s many unique properties. They believe it has the potential to make advances in a variety of sectors. From automotive industry via medicine to electronics.
Promising areas of applications for graphene are:
- Nuclear magnetic resonance studies
- Development of the new strong and resistant materials
- Targeted drug delivery in the process of disease treatment
- Regenerative medicine and cosmetics
While the properties and possible applications of graphene are fantastic, there is one big challenge with graphene: the cost of getting it in larger quantity for a reasonable price.
Graphene cost – matter of production
Getting an insight in how the graphene is produced is crucial to understanding its high cost. Graphene price is strongly linked to the graphene quality and the purpose of use, desired size of particles or coats and purity.
How graphene is made
Graphene is not possible generate on a large scale yet because of limited existing producing technologies. The process called chemical vapor deposition is the most popular method today.
The precursor of graphene is graphene oxide. About other method of graphene synthesis you can read in this scientific article.
Different forms of graphene for different purposes
Graphene can exist as:
Each form of graphene has its unique application. Graphene oxide, the top-selling graphene product, is relatively inexpensive. It can be used for advanced numerous biotechnology applications, but not in batteries or flexible touch screens. In advanced optic and electronic applications, there is a need of graphene of high purity.
The rise of “graphene-epoch”
Graphene represents strong inspiration for scientists. Graphene is nearly impermeable, what makes it a revolutionary material which will change the future of industry. Graphene-based coating can deal with any kind possible damage from air or owing to corrosive chemicals.
Revolution in computing science
Silicon semiconductors enabled the growth of computers. And graphene could really revolutionize the semiconductor industry. Scientists are suggesting that graphene can be used to build nano-sized, high-speed electronic devices and to replace silicon chips.
How to made graphene cheaper
Graphene can be created from any compound containing carbon. The most estimated graphene products – graphene sheets are prepared by a reaction which turns gaseous reactants into a film of graphene on a different substrate (copper or nickel).
In 2015 was described an extraction process of graphene from biological material: a tea tree plant. Let’s hope that some new method will help produce graphene on a larger scale, cheaper and without toxic precursors. The world is excited for graphene and eager to test its promising qualities in everyday life.