Graphene, a two-dimensional sheet of carbon, is a wonder material. It has amazing properties leading to multifarious applications. Its properties have pushed the frontiers of our imaginations further. Graphene Technology - Present Status and Future ProspectsBut do you know how far graphene technology has reached? Let’s excavate the extent of graphene technology in real-time.

The fields that graphene technology benefits

Graphene has extraordinary properties like high electron mobility, high mechanical strength, flexibility, and transparency. So, it can be used to enhance materials in a lot of aspects. This multipurpose nature of graphene has enabled it to be used in many fields.

Electronics, Mechanical and Biomedical engineering are the major fields in which numerous graphene-related research is going on. So, graphene technology is likely to improve these fields. Several graphene-related products in the aforementioned fields have already been commercial.

Also, renewable energy harvesting and storage are improving with a lot of graphene-related research. Fabrication of graphene composite solar cells and supercapacitors (for use in energy storage) has benefited this field.

Present status of graphene technology

Graphene technology has a wide range of scope due to its extraordinary properties. But at present, most graphene-related products are still in the research phase. Although some products are in the market and already gaining popularity.

The strength and lightness of graphene is the most exploited feature by researchers. This can enable us to produce lighter and stronger parts for vehicles. In automotive technology, lightness and strength are the prime factors for obtaining high efficiency. So, it has gained significant popularity in the automotive industry.

The flexibility, transparency, and conductive nature of graphene have further made it useful in touch panel technology. The use of graphene in the screens of phones and other electronics is under research. This may make our dream of carrying a phone with a foldable screen come true.

Graphene has high electron mobility. So, it shows a good response to the electric field. This has motivated researchers to work on graphene transistors. Transistors of graphene are also being developed.

Graphene derivatives have also proved a better alternative for making supercapacitors. It could aid the development of batteries in the near future. Also, the superconducting behavior of bilayer graphene is being studied at present as it can improve our understanding of superconductivity.

Apart from material technology, graphene has also gained considerable interest in biomedical fields. Its strength can help in making tough bone tissues. Also, its use in drug delivery is under study.

Available commercial graphene products

Commercially graphene products have not been so popular. Graphene technology is soon going to excel commercially and thrive. Reports suggest that the graphene composite flexible phone is already on the market. A Chinese company has introduced such a flexible phone.

A bicycle enhanced with graphene, made by Dassi is already out on the market. Graphene-enhanced airplane has also been tested. These light and tough means of transport open a new dimension to highly efficient vehicles.

Samsung and Huawei have used graphene in their lithium-ion batteries to enhance their charging time and durability respectively. Unlike graphene composites, graphene ink is also gaining popularity and is commercially available. It can be used to make wearable electronics.

The rumors of graphene-related products

Although graphene products are still confined to research and are not commercial, there are rumors of different property-enhanced products. One such product is fast-charging graphene batteries. This battery is said to be fully charged in a very short span of time.

The foldable phones and television screens are supposed to be on the market soon. Also, airplanes made from graphene composites are believed to be operational soon. Graphene transistors are also the most awaited products that can make computers nearly 1000 times faster than conventional ones. Tough graphene-enhanced shoes and water-resistant are almost commercial.

The future of graphene products

Graphene-related materials are thriving in the modern world. With a substantial increase in research, graphene-based materials are supposed to help make tougher and lighter products. So, mostly the polymeric material will be enhanced in the near future.

The use of graphene composites in transistors can yield faster computers than the state of art ones in the future. The field of tissue engineering, purification systems, drug delivery, etc. is likely to improve with the involvement of graphene.

Thus graphene technology is going to transform the material science world in the near future with a wide variety of products.

Ashwin Khadka is a PhD Scholar in Nano Energy and Thermofluid Lab in Korea University, Republic of Korea under Korean Government Scholarship Program. He has a Masters Degree in Physics from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He is a science enthusiast, researcher and writer.