Graphene is an allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. The name is derived from “graphite” and the suffix “-ene,” reflecting the fact that the graphite allotrope of carbon contains numerous double bonds.
Each atom in a graphene sheet is connected to its three nearest neighbors by bond that contributes to a valence band that extends over the whole sheet. This is the same type of bonding seen in carbon nanotubes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and partially in glassy carbon.
Graphene conducts heat and electricity very efficiently along its plane. The material strongly absorbs light of all visible wavelengths, which accounts for the black color of graphite, yet a single graphene sheet is nearly transparent because of its extreme thinness. The material is about 100 times as strong as the strongest steel of the same thickness.
As of 2015, there was one product available for commercial use: a graphene-infused printer powder. On August 2, 2016, a new Mono model from BAC (Briggs Automotive Company) was said to be made out of graphene, the first street-legal track car and a production car.
Novel uses for graphene continue to be researched and explored. One such use is in combination with water-based epoxy resins to produce anticorrosive coatings.