|[December 04, 2012]
NCKU professor to initiate first steps towards the graphene revolution
TAINAN, Taiwan --(Business Wire)--
"Graphene is the material of the future." Professor Mario Hofmann
introduced his current research with the nano-engineering group at
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), southern Taiwan.
"Graphene is one atom thick, looks like glass, behaves like metal and is
one of the strongest materials known," said Hofmann while describing
this nanomaterial in the plainest language.
"Many researchers are now working hard to make large area graphene for
all kinds of applications but few ideas are out there on how to
innovatively apply graphene flakes. Flake solutions are almost like the
ugly step sister of large area graphene that nobody notices," according
He said, creating graphene flakes was much simpler than other graphene
fabrication methods, as only graphite and common chemicals are needed.
The ease of ceating graphene flakes explains its lower cost relative to
graphene films and other nano-materials such as nanoparticles or
The reduced cost, which could reach as low as 1 dollar per kilogram,
could work towards the benefits of industries which graphene can be
applied, according to Hofmann.
He demonstrated the result of an experiment by showing a piece of paper
that graphene flake solution had been painted on, and then explained
that this treatment made the paper electrically conductive enough to be
used as an electrical wire.
Dr. Hofmann's team used graphene flakes to produce a strain sensor that
measures mechanical force through change in its electrical resistance.
The research team made a strain gauge directly on a light bulb which is
impossible with current technology due to its curved, transparent and
The results were very impressive, and they have even attracted the
attention of the editors of one of the most influential scientific
journals, Science, which published a highlight of the research,
These results offer the vision of paper-like keyboards and meter sized
touch sensitive screens.
In practical applications, Hofmann foresees the use of graphene strain
sensors to replace current sensors in oil and gas pipe lines, bridges,
engines and airplanes to check the conditions of these items.
Hofmann pointed out that graphene has not been widely used for
commercial products despite its advantages. Therefore, he hopes that his
strain gauges can be one of the first real life applications of graphene.
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