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Graphene-polymer hybrid composites look to oust carbon nanotubes

Darren Murph

We're pretty certain the world's big enough for the both of 'em, but a graphene-polymer hybrid developed by a brilliant team from Northwestern University could prove to be a suitable -- and much cheaper -- alternative to polymer-infused carbon nanotubes. Put simply, graphite can be purchased for dollars per pound, while single-walled nanotubes are hundreds of dollars per gram. A breakthrough has found that tough, lightweight materials can be created by "spreading a small amount of graphene, a single-layer flat sheet of carbon atoms, throughout polymers," and these composites could eventually be used to make lighter car and airplane parts (among other things). We won't kid you, there's a lot of technobabble in the read link below, but it's well worth the read if your inner nerd is up for it.

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