Graphene, a two dimensional monoatomic thick building block of a carbon allotrope, has emerged as an exotic material of the 21st century, and received world-wide attention due to its exceptional charge transport, thermal, optical, and mechanical properties. Graphene and its derivatives are being studied in nearly every field of science and engineering. Recent progress has shown that the graphene-based materials can have a profound impact on electronic and optoelectronic devices, chemical sensors, nanocomposites and energy storage. The aim of this review article is to provide a comprehensive scientific progress of graphene to date and evaluate its future perspective. Various synthesis processes of single layer graphene, graphene nanoribbons, chemically derived graphene, and graphene-based polymer and nano particle composites are reviewed. Their structural, thermal, optical, and electrical properties were also discussed along with their potential applications. The article concludes with a brief discussion on the impact of graphene and related materials on the environment, its toxicological effects and its future prospects in this rapidly emerging field.
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This work is supported by the National Science Foundation for nanotechnology research. We acknowledge the financial support obtained from NSF : ECCS 0748091 , ECCS 0801924 , and NSF : DMR 0746499 and CBET 0930170 . Authors would like to acknowledge editors for their valuable comments and suggestions on the articles.