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Why is graphene only a recent discovery?

  1. Dec 27, 2012 #1
    We've been making things out of graphite for ages, which certainly has its uses, but interest in graphene has just started to take off recently. It's hailed as a miracle material and it seems that it was right under our noses all along - how come it took such a long time to be discovered?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2012 #2
    Although graphene was well studied, because all mathematical studies for carbon nanotubes and flullerene (C60) start from the graphene sheet, it came late.
    There were some tries to produce it but with no success.

    Some people may say that this is because there were a limiting belief around that stated that it was no possible to have a stable 2D crystal structure as it will immediately fold or roll up.
  4. Dec 27, 2012 #3


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    Also, in order to study graphene you need pretty good instrumentation and many of the techniques used have only been widely available for 15-20 years. It is easy to forget that e.g. all the SPM techniques were invented in the 80s.
    I am not sure how long micro-raman has been around.

    Furthermore, making graphene is stilll not easy if you want large sheets, there are only a handful of groups around the world that can grow good quality single layer graphene.
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