One of the lightest but strongest materials known to man can be made easily by anyone with access to the right ingredients – and a kitchen blender.
That's what a team of British and Irish scientists have discovered in researching ways in which similar potentially highly practical materials can be produced.
Scientific journal Nature Materials has reported that the group successfully made the material by putting powdered graphite – the material used in pencil leads – into a blender, adding a dishwasher liquid and water, and mixing them together.
In this way, they successfully produced wafer-thin sheets of the graphene – which is 100 times stronger than steel sheets of the same size - and now their discovery is being hailed as a breakthrough in helping cut the cost of its production.
However, because of the difficulty in precisely measuring the amount of dishwasher fluid required in the solution, the scientists have advised against trying to produce graphene at home.