Single-Layer Carbon (Graphene) Sheet Created

http://www.physorg.com/news1667.html
How come it's taken so long to make the single-layer graphene sheet? I thought that's what pencil leads are made from, and they're pretty
flimsy. I assume that those are made of teeny little shreds of graphene, as opposed to a big flawless sheet.
Wouldn't it be rather straightforward to make single-layer graphene sheets using Chemical Vapor Deposition?? It works for nanotubes, doesn't it? Intuitively, it would seem that any method used to make nanotubes could be adapted to make the planar sheets.
Which would have greater tensile strength -- carbon nanotubes or graphene sheets?
When you consider that one of the problems in exploiting the mechanical strength of nanotubes is due to them always slipping apart from each other or surrounding material, it would seem that the nanosheets have one less axis of slippage to worry about. Furthermore, the area of contact between adjacent sheets or with surrounding matrix material would be greater, for Van der Waals attraction purposes.
Which should be stronger -- a panel made of nanotube-reinforced composite material, or one made of a graphene sheet-reinforced composite material?
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As soon as I saw this, I said "Sanman is going to ask some dumb question about the whole subject."
And, he did.
JIm
sanman wrote:

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Hey, somebody has to ;P
But don't you think this could be as important as the nanotube?
After all, sheets should be easier to work with than tubes, shouldn't they? They'll slip and slide less than tubes would. They could also make an incredibly strong single-ply toilet paper, which nothing would stick to.
I remember reading a sci-fi story about nanotubes, where these assassins would string a superstrong superthin nanotube wire across a doorway, and when someone walked through it their head got lopped off. I'd imagine that with the graphene sheet, it could be so slippery that you could lay it on the floor and who ever stepped on it would slip and fall. Maybe it could be used to foul up tank treads perhaps?
What about a graphite skating rink? You could still use it in the middle of summer.
What about making a superstrong parachute or drag chute from the graphene sheet? Or a blanket that could be placed on top of explosives to absorb the blast in case of accidental detonation?
How about a truly comfortable spacesuit, instead of one that makes you look like the Staypuff Marshmallow Man.
How about superstrong armor plating or bulletproof vests?
Graphene sheets could be used to create a new class of nano-laminate materials.
Any other suggestions on applications?
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Oh yeah, and what about Boron Nitride?
Should it soon be possible to make similar single-atom sheets from BN, based on its similarity to carbon? If the graphene sheet is based on extraction from graphite crystal, then why can't BN sheets similarly be extracted from BN crystal?
Aerospace engineers say it's better for a re-entry craft to have a heat shield that's ablative. Wouldn't a paint coating containing BN nano-sheet flakes then offer the best properties for ablation from atmospheric re-entry?
The polar nature of the BN units should also decrease slippage, especially between adjacent BN sheets.
Also, if nanotubes can be functionalized, so should graphene and BN nano-sheets. This should then truly reduce slippage.
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