By mimicking the structure of cork, graphene can be turned into a strong yet elastic material.
Graphene is formed when graphite is reduced to layers one atom thick. It is extremely strong and a good conductor of electricity, but structures made from graphene are usually brittle and porous.
Scientists imitated cork’s honeycomb structure when making 3D graphene forms and found it created an elastic structure that does better under pressure than traditional graphene structures.
New uses of graphene are expected to follow. Potential applications include batteries and computing materials.