22-25 July 2021 Jodrell Bank Observatory

Discover Graphene

Have a go at producing your own wonder material graphene out of graphite using the simple “scotch tape” technique (more technically known as micromechanical exfoliation), and meet our scientists as they demonstrate some of the outstanding properties and applications of the flagship material of Graphene City, Manchester.

Several press releases have suggested that graphene, the first two-dimensional material, isolated at the University of Manchester, will be used in space technologies sooner or later. In fact, extraterrestrial graphene, C24 planar crystals of carbon, has already been detected in space using the Spitzer Space Telescope.

For space exploration, it is most likely that engineered forms of graphene will travel to space as components of next generation spacecraft and space suits. Owing to its properties, graphene has the potential to make spacecraft lighter and more resistant to mechanical damage, and basically fuel-free by converting light into energy for propulsion. In the clothing area, the strength of graphene, together with its outstanding thermal and electrical conductivities, have recently opened the door for wearable electronics and sensors that will constitute the smart textile used for future lightweight space suits.