Graphene is the thinnest material in the world – it is only one atom layer thick. Recent PhD work studied how the properties and shape of graphene can be changed by subjecting it to very brief but strong laser pulses, which can usually help shape the two-dimensional graphene into three-dimensional structures. Optical forging was found to harden graphene such that it does not bend very easily, but it was also found that optical forging results in lattice defects in graphene.

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