On Thursday, IIT Madras claimed that its researchers have discovered a simple route to produce Graphene from Graphite.
"They found that when graphite is suspended in an appropriate fluid and subjected to an intense shearing force of machining, the layers of graphite separate into graphene platelets," a statement from IITM said.
The research was led by Sathyan Subbiah, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and his research student Wazeem Nishad.
Graphene is a form of carbon which is the building block of graphite; one millimeter-thick sheet of graphite is made of three million layers of graphene.
"Superior quality graphene is commonly prepared by the exfoliation method," said Subbiah.
"Graphite is a lubricant because it is made of layers of carbon that slide over one another. The lubricating action itself would shear the layers off, and cause separation of the 2-D graphene sheets," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
Graphene is considered a super material of the century, said Subbiah. “It is one of the strongest materials known; puncturing a pristine single layer of graphene with a pen would require the pen to be pushed by a large car in fifth gear,” he added.
Graphene conducts electricity 13 times better than copper and six gram of graphene can cover the entire Soccer field.
"We are now focusing on controlling the stresses and machining parameters to produce defect-free few-layer graphene," said Subbiah on future directions of his research.