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Graphene Mask Inactivates Coronaviruses

  • 15 Sep 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the researchers from the City University of Hong Kong have produced a laser-induced form of graphene masks that inactivate the coronavirus species.

Key Points

  • Graphene Mask and Coronaviruses:
    • Initial tests deactivated two coronavirus species. The researchers are also planning to test this mask on the Covid-19 (SARS-Cov-2) virus.
    • The researchers also tested it on E coli (bacteria), which showed an antibacterial efficiency of around 80%. The efficiency can be raised to almost 100% with exposure to sunlight for 10 minutes.
      • Graphene is known for antibacterial properties.
  • Production: All carbon-containing materials, such as cellulose or paper, can be converted into graphene. The researchers described the production of laser-induced graphene as a "green technique."
  • Benefits: It is reusable. Can also be produced at low cost. It also resolves the problems of sourcing raw materials and disposing of non-biodegradable masks.

Graphene

  • It is a single layer (monolayer) of carbon atoms. It is one atom thick. It is the building-block of Graphite.
  • Properties: It is harder than diamond yet more elastic than rubber; tougher than steel yet lighter than aluminium. Graphene is the strongest known material.
    • Other Properties of Graphene are:
      • Lowest resistivity substance known at room temperature.
      • High thermal stability.
      • High elasticity.
      • High electrical conductivity.
      • Electron mobility is high at room temperature.
      • Graphene oxide (GO) membranes can be used to filter common salt from seawater.
  • Uses: Its thin composition and high conductivity means it can be used in applications ranging from miniaturised electronics to biomedical devices like computers, solar panels, batteries, sensors and other devices.
  • Carbon Allotropes: Diamond, graphite and fullerenes (substances that include nanotubes and buckminsterfullerene) are the important allotropes of pure carbon.
    • Allotropy is the property of some chemical elements to exist in two or more different forms, in the same physical state.

Source: IE

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