Graphene is a single-atom thick layer of graphite with strong covalent bonds between each carbon atom. The atoms are arranged in hexagons. Its properties include:

  • high melting and boiling points. Graphene’s many covalent bonds are strong and substantial energy is needed to break them.
  • good electrical conductivity. Each carbon atom has an unbonded electron. The unbonded electrons are delocalised electrons that are free to move and carry charge.
  • very strong. Graphene’s strong covalent bonds makes it 100 times stronger than steel. It is also the thinnest material possible – one atom thick – and very lightweight and transparent.
Graphene sheet
Graphene is a strong, light and relatively inexpensive electrical conductor and will be used in solar cells and batteries.