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Home > Press > WSU professor studies new metal

Single-layer graphene (0.34 nm thick); 1 nm = 1,000,000,000th of 1 meter. Credit: Professor Bor Z. Jang
Single-layer graphene (0.34 nm thick); 1 nm = 1,000,000,000th of 1 meter. Credit: Professor Bor Z. Jang

Abstract:
Not many materials are stronger than steel and can be stretched to cover a football stadium, however, graphene can be described in this way.

Bor Z. Jang, a professor of mechanical and materials engineering has been working with and researching this metal.

WSU professor studies new metal

Dayton, OH | Posted on November 29th, 2010

"Graphene is a new class of carbon nano material, which is now widely known due to the 2010 Noble Prize in Physics being recently awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for their contributions to graphene physics," said Jang. "Graphene is an atomic layer of honeycomb or hexagon structure of carbon atoms, 0.34 millimeters thick."

Jang has been working with this material since 2000. He began working with this material when he realized that carbon nano-tubes, carbon nano-fibers, graphite and other carbon materials were all made with graphene. Before he started working on graphene he was working on carbon nano-tubes and carbon nano-fibers. Even though those materials are useful, he found graphene was cheaper.

"Since graphite is a naturally occurring substance, it should be very inexpensive if one can peel off graphene planes from existing graphite materials," said Jang. "During the 2000-2004 timeframe, my research team found several ways of effectively producing graphene."

According to Jang, graphene can be used for heat dissipation, batteries, fuel systems, car parts, plane lightning strike protection, water and chemical waste filtration and purification, cell phones, computers and many other important items that protect people or make day to day life easier.

Jang, who has around 160 patents, was inspired to be a scientist because of the U.S. space program of the 1960's, which includes the moon landing.

"There are quite a number of outstanding faculty members at Wright State who are active researchers in the field of grapheme," said Jang. "We make a great team. It is our hope to establish a research center for graphene materials and devices, perhaps under the sponsorship of the Ohio Third Frontier Program."

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Stephanie Gottschlich
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