The Graphene Handbook – Review

Set to be for the 21st century a revolution in material technology comparable to the innovation of plastics in the 20th century, you may have not yet heard about Graphene. If you have not already then it’s inevitably you will. Graphene is the super material that holds the promises of doing everything under the sun. Graphene is totally water resistant, the best known electrical conduct on the planet, highly flexible, antibacterial, extremely lightweight and incredibly tough to the point of being not far off indestructible. The most fascinating feature of this miracle material is that it is ‘2D’ i.e. it is one molecule thick, arranged in a honeycomb lattice, so making to comparable in hardness to diamond yet highly flexible. It can also be doped – the chemical process that creates a semiconductor plus allows it to be photosensitive, thus it can be made into solar panels. Imagine a jacket that has a USB changer in a pocket that charges your phone as you walk about in the sunlight. It’s all possible. An energy storage revolution is in hand due to the semi-conductive capabilities of Graphene allowing for lightweight batteries with far beyond usually seen storage capacity. Yet the difficulties of utilising this super material hinge on the problems of effective automated manufacture at an affordable cost. A key hurdle that is yet to be effectively overcome, at least in terms of creating the so needed flat, flawless, Graphene sheet.


It may sound to you like I have been reading many articles on the net to find this out? Well, I have, it’s true. But one source of info on the subject stands out as the invaluable reference source to understanding this material – The Graphene Handbook by Ron Martens.

The Graphene handbook goes into detail chapter by chapter introducing first with ‘what is Graphene?’ and talks about its general properties (thermal, optical, chemical etc) and moves onto the creation and applications of Nanoribbons, Nanotubes, Buckyballs, then to graphene flakes, nanoplatelets, quantum dots, composite materials and many other Graphene material types. Bandgaps bridging and health effects are talked about. Then onto production methods (and the difficulties therein) and next onto exciting areas regarding the applications of Graphene, such as for flexible phones, coatings, energy generation, batteries and use in Medicine. The material market is covered including existing products, and potential (and I do say only potential) investment opportunities that include key players in this new field.

The book is a great entry point to give a wide understanding of this super material. Clearly written, with a mix of easy to understand and technical language that will stretch the non-engineer but engage the professional. Yet it lacks in some detail, due to no fault of its own, obvious reasons secrets surrounding the creation and adaptations of the material. This is a book with much width yet less depth. The other thing to note is that even though this book has not been available on the market for long, some of the content is already outdated due to the great recent leaps forwards in the technology, such as the use to unlock hydrogen atoms as a fuel source. It is also not cheap at $92(US). Still the e-book is defiantly worth the purchase to anyone interested in following and one day work with this super material.

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