Graphene is that wonder material that’s always talked about in material science.
It’s made of pure carbon (so producing it would reduce CO2 in the atmosphere).
It’s a monolayer molecular structure (ie it’s 1-atom thick sheets of carbon) so it can either be an incredible insulator or incredible conductor depending on how it’s arranged. I believe it’s “magic-angle” graphene that’s a superconductor.
Because it’s just carbon the body in theory wouldn’t reject it, but because it’s so difficult to produce that’s not been studied much yet, but it should be completely biocompatible. It should create a ‘perfect’ seal with the skin.
Its strength is absolutely bonkers, something like 200x as strong as steel - essentially the strongest material we know of. But mechanical engineers would be quick to point out that strength, toughness, hardness are all different properties.
However, the problem with it right now is that it’s so difficult to produce, and therefore expensive and impractical for most consumer applications. It’s mostly just found in research labs and universities.
Here’s a brief article summarising some of the important bits.
If we could mass-produce it and it was everything it is promised to be, then it would replace so many materials that we use right now like gold, copper, silicon, aluminium, titanium (in the case of implants). There’s probably whole industries that will exist because of it’s properties and uses. In Cyberpunk 2077 there are characters that have entirely replaced their skin with artificial materials, usually shiny metallic materials. That might actually be possible with something like graphene.
That’s an excellent point, and something I’d not thought of. I checked the article I linked before and some others, and graphene actually has great elasticity (another fancy material engineering term).
“Harder than diamond yet more elastic than rubber; tougher than steel yet lighter than [aluminium] – graphene is the strongest known material.”
People are not sitting idly by. It’s being worked on right now.
Again from the same article:
"Graphene’s unique combination of extraordinary properties offers a fascinating material platform for the development of next-generation technologies in many areas – wearable and superfast electronics, ultrasensitive sensors, multifunctional composites and coatings, membranes, medicine nd biotechnology, energy harvesting and storage.
Since its first demonstration in 2004, graphene research has evolved into a vast field with approximately 10,000 scientific papers now being published every year on a wide range of topics."