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Berna Uyanık

Does Double Layer Graphene Mean Graphite?

Graphene is single layer graphene. Is double layer graphene different from graphite?

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    Tanya Faltens

    Dear Berna,

    This is an interesting question— which may have different answers depending on the specific context you are looking at, and the “level” at which you want an answer to your question.

    From a general science level, Graphite is a naturally occurring mineral that has a layered structure, and each layer has an atomic arrangement that looks like graphene, (which is a relatively recently coined term).

    When you move from macroscopic objects, like a chunk of graphite, to micro- or nano- scales, many properties change. Whether you call two layers of graphene “graphite” or not, it will not have properties like that of bulk graphite. For example, we are familiar with the use of graphite in pencils because the layers leave a nice dark grey trace on paper. With only one or two layers, the material is so thin that it is transparent.

    I also took another look at the simulation and noticed that an error exists in the simulation for two layers of graphene. In a graphite structure, there is an offset between the layers. In other words, some of the atoms in one layer lie over the open hexagonal spaces and not over other atoms. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graphite-unit-cell-3D-balls.png

    This offset apparently “broke” in one of the simulation tool revisions, and has not yet been fixed. I will submit a “trouble ticket” through the “need help?” functionality, and hopefully the developers will get around to fixing this issue.

    Let me know if this helps. If there are others on nanoHUB in the graphene research community, they might be able to add some more specific information about graphene/graphite structure and nomenclature.

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