- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
What to study?
- For Prelims: About Graphene and its key features.
- For Mains: Significance of the latest discovery by researchers.
Context: A group of researchers at Nagpur-based Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology have developed a new technique which promises to help produce high value graphene from discarded dry cells batteries.
- As of now, researchers have achieved 88% yield of graphene from a single graphite rod. It can be scaled up to the industrial level.
Since graphene is made out of graphite, its production is both expensive and has significant environmental impact. The new technique helps both reduce the cost and preserve environment.
Graphene has been touted in the global electronics industry as a “miracle material” given its strength, electrical conductivity and elasticity, and has been seen as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries since its discovery in 2004. It is a form of carbon that can be used to develop smaller, slimmer batteries but with higher capacity.
Graphene is a carbon material that is one atom thick. Its thin composition and high conductivity means it is used in applications ranging from miniaturised electronics to biomedical devices. These properties also enable thinner wire connections; providing extensive benefits for computers, solar panels, batteries, sensors and other devices.
- Graphene is widely used in making solar cells, light-emitting diodes, touch panels and smart windows. Graphene supercapacitors serve as energy storage devices with a capacity for faster charging and longer life span than traditional electrolytic batteries.
- Other potential applications of graphene include water filtration and purification, renewable energy, sensors, personalised healthcare and medicine, to name a few.
Sources: Down to Earth.