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Influence Tomorrow

A square sample of 3-D printed graphene aerogel is so lightweight that a wheat plant's individual awn can hold it without bending.

Light as a — graphene Powercat?

 

K-State researchers hold the Guinness World Record for the least dense 3-D printed structure. Graphene is a single atom-thick sheet of specially arranged carbon atoms, and it’s the world’s thinnest, strongest, and most conductive material. This means it can be used to make other things stronger or lighter — think airplanes or building materials — to help make mobile devices or their batteries perform better.

The revolutionary K-State 3-D printing method uses a modified inkjet printer to print droplets of a graphene oxide and water in a freezer to create an ice structure that is then freeze-dried to remove the ice. Gaining control over the shape of the graphene aerogel means K-State researchers have taken an important step in expanding possible applications of this amazing material.