Chemistry KS3 & GCSE: What is Graphene?

Mark Miodownik describes the discovery of graphene.

It’s the toughest material we know, 200 times stronger than steel, and able to carry electricity at 1 million metres per second.

It was discovered in 2004 by the Noble Prize winning duo, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, from the University of Manchester.

Mark meets Andre Geim who explains some of the properties of his discovery.

Teacher Notes

This clip can be used as a stimulus for research into new materials and designer polymers and alloys.

Students can begin by researching the uses of graphene

Then other examples of new materials such as smart alloys, water absorbing polymers, super strong magnets and hydrophobic sand can be demonstrated and their properties investigated.

Students can suggest a use for an ideal material which fill a gap in the market and then make suggestions as to how it can be filled.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Chemistry at KS3 and GCSE Level. This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

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