Conductive graphene yarn is lighter and stretchier than copper wire
Copper electrical wiring may soon be facing some stiff competition – or actually, some very stretchy competition. Scientists at Pennsylvania State University and Japan's Shinshu University recently created a "super-stretchable" conductive yarn made from graphene.
The researchers started by chemically exfoliating flakes of graphene from a block of graphite. Those flakes were then mixed with water, and that mixture was concentrated into a slurry using a centrifuge. That slurry was then spread across a plate and allowed to dry, forming into a thin transparent film of graphene oxide.
The film was subsequently peeled off the plate and cut into narrow strips, those strips in turn getting wound together using an automatic fiber scroller.
The resulting yarn can be knotted and stretched without fracturing, and is said to be much stronger than other types of carbon fibers – this quality could be due to the presence of tiny air pockets within it.
Removing oxygen from the material boosts its electrical conductivity, and adding silver nanorods to it in the film-fabricating stage could reportedly boost that conductivity further, to the point of matching that of copper. Its stretchability and lighter weight, however, could make it a better alternative in many applications.
A paper on the research was recently published in the journal ACS Nano.
Source: Penn State
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Also, you need to improve the conductivity by adding silver. Really!? Yes, silver is a great conductor. It's also very expensive. So just saying "add silver" it pretty dumb. How much silver? What does that do to the cost of the product? Now that I think of it, there's no mention of cost here at all. I have no doubt that we can make great conductors, if cost is no object. In practice, you have to compare with the cost of aluminum. If you can beat the cost of aluminum, then you have a product; if not, you just have a curiosity.
The theoretical existence of graphene goes back to the late 1800s, and a scientific awareness dates back to the late 40s, but its commercial promise is only just starting to be understood, let alone realized.
This thread is not a true graphene product, but in the same family. Stuff like this shows the promise, but won't be viable for many years to come. It's a bit of a wild material with a mind of its own. It has great promise in coatings and polymers, among other applications.
Good to see the incremental progress, though. Once it can be controlled in the manufacturing process, and its properties when integrated with other materials become better known, it will be revolutionary.
Lucky2BHere, please explain how a crystalline structure one atom thick makes it a "two dimensional material".. If it has a crystalline structure, that would mean that its other remaining dimensions of width and length are defined.