• Question: do you work with carbon graphene

    Asked by ilovehiggsboson to Laura, Nicola, Norman, Sandra, Thanasis on 15 Mar 2013.
    • Photo: Laura Soul

      Laura Soul answered on 15 Mar 2013:

      I don’t work with carbon graphene no. All living things are made from carbon, so a lot of the fossils I look at are made of carbon, or are a very thin carbon film on the surface of a rock, but I don’t work with materials like that really. Thanasis might though!

    • Photo: Thanasis Georgiou

      Thanasis Georgiou answered on 15 Mar 2013:


      There are many different forms of carbon. Perhaps the one you are mostly familiar with, is graphite. Graphite is the material which is at the tip of your pencil.

      Because graphite is a layered material, you can peel off layers with some scotch tape, or even by writing with your pencil on a piece of paper. Graphene is called just a single layer of graphite. The carbon atoms in graphene are arranged in hexagons, much like chicken wire.

      In fact, you probably make graphene every time you write with a pencil. But because graphene is visible only on a special kind of substrate, it is rather hard to find on paper. This is one of the reasons it has taken scientists such a long time to identify graphene.

      If you have a look at my picture here, I hold ball-and-stick models of different kinds of carbon. On my right hand I hold a diamond structure, on my left hand it is graphene… and I have a nanotube on my head!

    • Photo: Sandra Phinbow

      Sandra Phinbow answered on 15 Mar 2013:

      Nope not me, I work with

      Industrial methylated spirits
      Pap stains
      Giemsa stains
      another 50 or so stains
      molten wax
      hydrochloric acid
      picric acid
      sulphuric acide

      All kinds of things

    • Photo: Nicola Wardrop

      Nicola Wardrop answered on 15 Mar 2013:

      No, I am afraid I don’t either!