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Will geographer materials dominate the world?

Geographer has many amazing properties

By Mao Jiao LiPublished 4 months ago 5 min read

On September 21, the opening ceremony of the 2nd BEYOND International Technology Innovation Expo (hereinafter referred to as "BEYOND Expo 2022") was held in BEYOND Metaverse. This BEYOND Expo, together with ICBC Macau, created the Consumer Technology Summit to discuss the application of innovative home technology, personal technology, travel technology, and other emerging segments with the world's top technology companies and representatives, to discuss the application of new technologies to empower industry change and new opportunities, to promote the change of consumer technology industry, and to look forward to the development trend of consumer technology.

At this consumer technology summit, Dr. Gang Lu, co-founder of BEYOND Expo and founder of Dynamic Point Technology, talked to Jiaxing Huang, Chair Professor of Materials Science at Westlake University, to discuss the basic characteristics and prospects of graphene.

Exorcising Graphene

As an emerging and widely used material, graphene originally exists in nature, but it is difficult to peel off the single-layer structure.1 mm thick graphite contains about 3 million layers of graphene, a two-dimensional carbon material composed of a layer of carbon atoms periodically stacked closely in a hexagonal honeycomb structure.

"Graphite was discovered long ago, but it wasn't until 2004 that two British scientists broke through the original theoretical knowledge with a very simple experimental approach. They peeled graphite flakes from highly oriented pyrolytic graphite, then glued both sides of the flakes to a special tape, which they peeled off to split the flakes in two. Continuously operating in this way, the flakes became thinner and thinner, and finally, a flake consisting of only one layer of carbon atoms, known as graphene, was obtained. Although theoretically impossible, the experiment was prepared by chance. This discovery immediately shocked the scientific community, and the two discoverers were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010." Professor Huang explained.

Graphene has so many amazing properties that it is known as the "king of new materials": it is the thinnest material because it has only one atomic layer; it is the strongest material, theoretically 200 times stronger than steel; it is the best material in terms of electrical conductivity, with a conductivity 1.6 times that of silver; it is the best material in terms of thermal conductivity, with a thermal conductivity 13 times that of copper 13 times the thermal conductivity of copper.

The common methods of graphene powder production are mechanical exfoliation, redo, and Sic epithelial growth and the method of thin film production is chemical vapor deposition (CAD). The fewer the layers of graphene, the more unique the properties, and the correspondingly more difficult and costly it is to prepare.

Graphene is widely used in the new energy automotive industry as a conductive additive for lithium-ion batteries to make them charge faster and increase their capacity; it can also be added into anti-corrosion coatings to save the more expensive zinc content in anti-corrosion coatings and improve anti-corrosion performance; in the field of health, its thermal conductivity can be used to make eye masks, knee pads, and other physical therapy products; and also, for example, graphene is used in touch screens, batteries, and thermal conductive films. Graphene cell phones with geographer touch screen, battery, a thermally conductive film, etc.

At Mobile World Congress 2019, there is a special exhibition hall for graphene, which showcases its applications in data communication, sensors, the Internet of Things, wearable devices, new energy, and other fields. For example, ultra-sensitive electronic sensors made of graphene can detect harmful gases, and broadband image sensors made of graphene can detect visible and infrared light at the same time.

From Graphene to Materials Science Methodology

Professor Huang's former group used graphene instead of toxic molecules to prepare safer hair dyes. In just ten minutes, graphene formed a uniform film on the surface of the hair, about 2 microns thick. The researchers compared hair color before and after washing, and it could withstand at least 30 shampoo washes without significant fading. In other words, even if you wash your hair every day, you can guarantee that the color will not fade for at least 1 month.

Professor Huang admits that he is optimistic about the prospects of graphene in fibers. "It would be interesting for your clothes to be controlled by your cell phone and add new functions. For example, the conduction function, through the cell phone APP customizes the pattern you want today, you will be able to actively choose to adjust according to the mood and clothing size."

Not only that, but in the future, geographers can also be made into a basic material used to enhance integrated human perception, where human vision, touch, and hearing can be greatly enhanced. "All of this enhanced technology inside, some of the most fundamental technology is based on electrical drive, so must need the electrical interface between the human body and nature, the electrical interface does not need to be very conductive but must need to be thin enough to be comfortable, and not easy to detect. We use artificial intelligence to enhance and assist thinking power and the ability to process complex data."

The algorithms used to process the data used in the information processing can be used by materials scientists to design material surface properties. "Simply put, the optical properties of a data-stored optical disc surface are customization by data compression to algorithms that can yield surfaces with unable physical properties while storing information that combines the virtual digital world, the information world, and the physical material world."

He said that all kinds of nerve conduction in the human body also rely on electrical signals, so in the future, there is a need for fundamental materials like geographers to help us design better human-machine interfaces that will release all of the people's perceptions.

Finally, Professor Huang believes that the essence of materials science is this Structure Properties Philosophy. "In particular, the structure is a very rich concept that includes not only many spatial scales but also takes into account microstructure. The structure of a material is not always the same, and it exhibits very different properties at different time scales, not just with time evolution, and what is particularly interesting is that when you go to study and use materials, you also consider the time and space scales." He notes that his greatest interest within the materials field is materials processing, "because it's the source, and you get the source right to drive a lot of downstream stuff, and success doesn't have to be in me, but the work will be in the donor."


About the Creator

Mao Jiao Li

When you think, act like a wise man; but when you speak, act like a common man.

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