Graphene is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon. Scientists Geim and Novoselov isolated and characterized graphene in 2004 for the first time, which earned them the Nobel Prize in physics in 2010. Graphene’s 2D nature and honeycomb lattice structure allows the electron to move at a very high velocity which is just 300 times less than the velocity of light in vacuum. These properties of graphene give rise to some wonderful electrical properties.
The application of graphene is not only limited in electronic industries. One of the current global challenges is the scarcity of fresh water for which desalination of sea water is one of the best solutions. The membrane based separation techniques most importantly those based on graphene will provide the cutting-edge technology in this area. Graphene, even being one layer thick, is extremely strong and can be processed in solutions. The spacing between two hydrophobic layers of graphene allows frictionless flow of water which is ten billion times faster than Helium. It is also observed that intercalated water layer influences the migration of CO2 molecules between the stacks. This opens up a new area of filtration and separation techniques. A number of theoretical and experimental studies have shown that graphene sub-nanometer pores can be used as highly selective membranes.
In our project we are going to device an experimental set up to use single layer perforated graphene as membrane in order to study its filtration property and transport phenomena in detail.