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August 5, 2011 / David Bleeker

Weekend Edition: A Single Box of Girl Scout Cookies Could Yield $15 Billion Worth of Graphene

Time to decompress from the week with a little Popular Science science news…

Next time you’re inhaling an entire box of Girl Scout shortbread cookies, just think of the potential you’re wasting: a full $15 billion worth of graphene. At least, that’s the estimate given by a team of Rice University researchers working on a dare.

Published as part of a paper recently published by ACS Nano, the Rice lab’s work on Girl Scout Cookies began when lab chemist James Tour mentioned at a meeting that his team had turned table sugar to graphene–a one-atom-thick layer of carbon possessing remarkable properties of strength and conductivity. He claimed that he and his grad students could grow graphene from any carbon source, and it just so happened there were Girl Scout Cookies being passed around the meeting.

And so a challenge was born. [read more]

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