Graphene bulbs are better than LED bulbs. And that’s why
Graphene is the material of the future, which is the thinnest two-dimensional layer of graphite. We will tell you about the use and main advantages of this unusual substance.
What is graphene
For the first time the material was obtained in 2004 by British scientists of Russian origin by the method of exfoliating graphite. To put it as simply as possible, the material was placed between layers of tape and the layers of graphite began to peel off until the thickness reached one atom. It’s useless to try to make the material thinner than graphene. Already today we can say for sure – graphene is generally the thinnest material in the world.
Another amazing property of graphene is its strength. Graphene is considered to be the most durable material ever discovered. Despite the fact that graphene is a semimetal, that is, it has the conductivity of a metal, but at the same time a covalent crystal lattice, it is about 200 times stronger than steel.
Its flat crystal lattice is composed of interconnected hexagons of carbon atoms, tightly bound together.
This property of graphene can be very useful for the military and will allow the production of ultra-strong and ultralight body armor.
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The next surprising property of graphene is its ability to expand when cooled and shrink when heated. Recall that any other materials behave exactly the opposite.
Where graphene can come in handy
Graphene is of interest to scientists from a wide variety of fields. Its anti-cancer properties are already widely known today. In a study that led to an article in the journal Oncotarget, graphene has been shown to be beneficial in the fight against six different types of cancer.
Graphene is already used in microbiology and biochemistry as a substrate for electron microscopy of proteins, which has several valuable qualities at once: it weakly absorbs electrons, perfectly conducts electric current and does not distort the shape of a protein molecule.
In 2014, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a technology that makes it possible to make holes of a certain diameter in graphene sheets and obtain ultrafine filters for a high degree of desalination and water purification.
But of course, graphene is of particular importance in the field of electronics.
Scientists have succeeded in forming ultraviolet radiation from the surface of graphene. This could be useful for the production of completely new graphene-based UV lamps without the use of toxic mercury, which today still has to be used in such lamps used to kill bacteria and viruses.
In addition, graphene absorbs only 2% of light. This means that this material is practically transparent. For comparison, ordinary glass absorbs about 10% of the light.
For this reason, manufacturers of displays and solar panels are interested in it, for which it is important to obtain a conductive layer of maximum transparency.
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Another promising area is the production of graphene-based batteries.
The first models of power banks have already appeared on sale, which, according to the assurances of the manufacturers, are able to fully replenish the charge of your gadgets in just 17 minutes.
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But graphene batteries can play a much more important role in the production of electric vehicles. The main problem with electric vehicles now is the rather low mileage from one charge. With the introduction of graphene batteries, engineers will be able to increase the specific capacity by 5 times in comparison with lithium-ion counterparts. And it is possible to charge such a device several times faster.
Graphene can also play an important role in lighting systems. British scientists have succeeded in developing the thinnest graphene-based electric lamp to date.
How a graphene lamp works
The lamp consists of two metal electrodes, between which the thinnest graphene plate on a silicon substrate is placed.
Such lamps do not need cooling, since, unlike a conventional incandescent lamp, where the tungsten filament is heated and due to this begins to glow, only a small point in the center of the graphene filament heats up. From here, people learned about another amazing property of graphene – a sharp drop in thermal conductivity at high temperatures.
Graphene in such a lamp heats up to 2800 degrees Celsius, emitting light. If its thermal conductivity was preserved, then due to the continuous heat removal it would be impossible to achieve its glow. The entire structure would literally melt from overheating.
Why graphene lamps are better than LED lamps
One of the obvious advantages of graphene over LEDs is even greater efficiency. Much less energy is required to glow the visible region of a graphene filament. Electrons encounter little or no resistance when they pass through graphene. And the current density of graphene is millions of times higher than the current density of copper.
Also, by changing the distance between the substrate and the graphene filament, it is possible to change the color of the emitted light from such a lamp. It is believed that the light from a graphene lamp is safer for human vision, as it is closer in spectrum to natural light.
Even simple spraying of graphene on LED lamps helps to diffuse light better, making them much brighter. This means that a lower wattage graphene-coated lamp will produce the same effect as a traditional LED lamp.
Today, such lamps have already appeared on store shelves. Manufacturers claim that they are 10-12% more economical and more durable than their conventional counterparts due to the improved conductivity of the new material.
Undoubtedly, graphene is the material of the future and it will still make a lot of noise. In the meantime, it remains to observe the discoveries of scientists and believe that graphene will help make this world even better and safer.