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Graphene could find use as world's thinnest anti-corrosion coating

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February 23, 2012

Scientists have determined that graphene could be put to use as the world's thinnest anti-...

Scientists have determined that graphene could be put to use as the world's thinnest anti-corrosion coating (Photo via Shutterstock)

It seems like the uses for graphene just won't stop coming. The ultra-strong sheet material, made from bonded carbon atoms, has so far shown promise for use in transistors, computer chips, DNA sequencing, and batteries ... just to name a few possibilities. Now, scientists have discovered that it can also be used as a very effective anti-corrosion coating - and at just one atom in thickness, it's thinner than any of the alternatives.

In a study conducted by scientists from Nashville's Vanderbilt University, graphene was grown via chemical vapor deposition directly onto copper and nickel surfaces. When subjected to corrosive elements, it was found that copper protected with a single layer of graphene corroded seven times slower than bare copper. Nickel, when protected with multiple layers, corroded 20 times slower than when unprotected.

Even when transferred onto other metals (as opposed to being grown on them), graphene was still found to offer the same amount of protection as regular organic coatings over five times thicker. While that difference in thickness might not matter much when it comes to things like the hulls of ships, the scientists believe that graphene could come in very handy when protecting things such as microelectric components.

A paper on the research was recently published in the journal ACS Nano.

Source: American Chemical Society

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
3 Comments

The more this material is studied the more it does!

Carlos Grados
23rd February, 2012 @ 08:24 pm PST

It might be overkill for a ship's hull but it seems ideal for airplane parts.

Shawn H Corey
24th February, 2012 @ 06:39 am PST

A nanotube radio should make a good radio controlled biological weapon

Stewart Mitchell
25th February, 2012 @ 11:24 am PST
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