Graphene is a new material made of carbon sheets only one atom thick:
"It is the thinnest known material in the universe, and the strongest ever measured," Andre Geim , a physicist at the University of Manchester, England , wrote in the June 19 issue of the journal Science.
"A few grams could cover a football field," said Rod Ruoff , a graphene researcher at the University of Texas, Austin , in an e-mail. A gram is about 1/30th of an ounce.
Like diamond, graphene is pure carbon. It forms a six-sided mesh of atoms that, through an electron microscope, looks like a honeycomb or piece of chicken wire. Despite its strength, it's as flexible as plastic wrap and can be bent, folded or rolled up like a scroll.
It has applications including solar cells, computer chips, and whale tanks onboard stolen Klingon birds-of-prey.
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