The thinnest thing in the world is a single strand of human hair. It is so thin that it can be blown away by just a small gust of wind. The thinnest material according to Guinness World Records is graphene, which is an atom-thick form of carbon. This material has many uses and was discovered due to its thinness!
What exactly is graphene?
Graphene isn’t really a “thing” per see; it’s simply the thinnest possible layer of graphite, which can be made by peeling off several layers (known as stacked sheets) from the side of ordinary pencil lead. It looks like a chicken wire under high magnification. If you think about it, this means that even with thousands upon thousands of atoms in one sheet – making up billions of more atoms overall – each individual “atom” on either surface would still be separated by only three atoms.
What makes graphene so special?
Graphene is so thin that electrons can move through it as though they have no mass at all, unlike in most materials where their speed is limited by the push and pull of atoms. Electrons moving this fast makes graphene an ideal material for building very small electronic circuits – which are usually made up of several layers on a semiconductor chip to switch current between different parts. Graphene could be used instead because it’s more flexible than silicon-based electronics, making it easier to work with when designing new devices. It also conducts electricity better, transferring 100 times more electrical current per unit area compared with copper wire. This means you need less graphene to build components like electrodes or wires within computer chips – saving space inside the circuit boards. Many scientists are working on ways to manufacture graphene, including chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which involves heating hydrocarbons in the presence of a metal catalyst. CVD is already used commercially thanks to its low cost and ability to produce large quantities of high-purity carbon.
What else can graphene be used for?
Graphene was discovered by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at The University of Manchester in 2004 when they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their research. Since then, many commercial companies have been involved with producing it or using it – notably, Samsung who are looking into creating flexible touchscreen displays that don’t need any components like light emitters, control circuitry, or color filters! Graphene is also being looked into for use in electronic devices, solar cells, and even some types of cancer treatment.