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      The structure of suspended graphene sheets

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          Most cited references 22

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          Electric Field Effect in Atomically Thin Carbon Films

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            Graphene-based composite materials.

            Graphene sheets--one-atom-thick two-dimensional layers of sp2-bonded carbon--are predicted to have a range of unusual properties. Their thermal conductivity and mechanical stiffness may rival the remarkable in-plane values for graphite (approximately 3,000 W m(-1) K(-1) and 1,060 GPa, respectively); their fracture strength should be comparable to that of carbon nanotubes for similar types of defects; and recent studies have shown that individual graphene sheets have extraordinary electronic transport properties. One possible route to harnessing these properties for applications would be to incorporate graphene sheets in a composite material. The manufacturing of such composites requires not only that graphene sheets be produced on a sufficient scale but that they also be incorporated, and homogeneously distributed, into various matrices. Graphite, inexpensive and available in large quantity, unfortunately does not readily exfoliate to yield individual graphene sheets. Here we present a general approach for the preparation of graphene-polymer composites via complete exfoliation of graphite and molecular-level dispersion of individual, chemically modified graphene sheets within polymer hosts. A polystyrene-graphene composite formed by this route exhibits a percolation threshold of approximately 0.1 volume per cent for room-temperature electrical conductivity, the lowest reported value for any carbon-based composite except for those involving carbon nanotubes; at only 1 volume per cent, this composite has a conductivity of approximately 0.1 S m(-1), sufficient for many electrical applications. Our bottom-up chemical approach of tuning the graphene sheet properties provides a path to a broad new class of graphene-based materials and their use in a variety of applications.
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              Two-dimensional gas of massless Dirac fermions in graphene.

              Quantum electrodynamics (resulting from the merger of quantum mechanics and relativity theory) has provided a clear understanding of phenomena ranging from particle physics to cosmology and from astrophysics to quantum chemistry. The ideas underlying quantum electrodynamics also influence the theory of condensed matter, but quantum relativistic effects are usually minute in the known experimental systems that can be described accurately by the non-relativistic Schrödinger equation. Here we report an experimental study of a condensed-matter system (graphene, a single atomic layer of carbon) in which electron transport is essentially governed by Dirac's (relativistic) equation. The charge carriers in graphene mimic relativistic particles with zero rest mass and have an effective 'speed of light' c* approximately 10(6) m s(-1). Our study reveals a variety of unusual phenomena that are characteristic of two-dimensional Dirac fermions. In particular we have observed the following: first, graphene's conductivity never falls below a minimum value corresponding to the quantum unit of conductance, even when concentrations of charge carriers tend to zero; second, the integer quantum Hall effect in graphene is anomalous in that it occurs at half-integer filling factors; and third, the cyclotron mass m(c) of massless carriers in graphene is described by E = m(c)c*2. This two-dimensional system is not only interesting in itself but also allows access to the subtle and rich physics of quantum electrodynamics in a bench-top experiment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                March 2007
                March 2007
                : 446
                : 7131
                : 60-63
                10.1038/nature05545
                © 2007

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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