graphene carbon molecule 1

(above) graphene molecule #1.

Graphene consists of carbon atoms arrayed in a hexagonal pattern in a large sheet. Layers of graphene constitute graphite, the familiar "lead" in pencils. Nanotubes are, in a sense, tubular graphene.

Electrons can very easily travel along the carbon sheet making graphene an extremely good electrical conductor. This conductivity suggests that graphene could have a future in the semiconductor industry, with the fabrication of high speed transistors. See an image of graphene with pi orbitals explaining this.

The carbon atoms are shown as spheres drawn at their covalent radius (i.e. just touching). The Nobel prize (The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics - Press Release) has just been awarded for graphene. See our 3D anaglyph of graphene.

Graphene images on this page are 500 pixels across, the originals are at least 4096 pixels across.

graphene carbon molecule 2

(above) graphene molecule #2.

graphene carbon molecule 3

(above) graphene molecule #3.

graphene carbon molecule 4

(above) graphene molecule #4.

graphene carbon molecule 5

(above) graphene molecule #5.

graphene carbon molecule 6

(above) graphene molecule #6.

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