Laying it on thin with Raman

Graphene is a big molecule, essentially a single graphitic layer it extends to infinity in the plane, at least as far as any individual carbon atom perceives it. Sheets of graphene hit the news headlines when researchers discovered they could carve out an almost atomic scale transistor from this material hinting at an "ex" silico world for future computers. While there is a long way to go before Silicon is anything but "in", chemists are now using Raman spectroscopy to probe the details of this unique material and related structures such as fullerenes. The researchers discuss an empirical formula for the in- and out-of-plane crystalline size and even "fancier" Raman-based information. The insights this powerful but not so well-known technique can provide for the atomic structure at graphite edges and graphene layers could accelerate the technological development of such materials.