Graphene could change the electronics industry, ushering in flexible devices, supercharged quantum computers, electronic clothing and computers that can interface with the cells in your body.
Graphene is the strongest, thinnest material known to exist. A form of carbon, it can conduct electricity and heat better than anything else. And get ready for this: It is not only the hardest material in the world, but also one of the most pliable.
“Graphene is one of the few materials in the world that is transparent, conductive and flexible — all at the same time,” said Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, a lecturer in nanomaterials at the University of Manchester. “All of these properties together are extremely rare to find in one material.” Only a single atom thick, it has been called the wonder material.
Researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, working with Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, said that Samsung had discovered how to create high-quality graphene on silicon wafers, which could be used for the production of graphene transistors. Samsung said in a statement that these advancements meant it could start making “flexible displays, wearables and other next-generation electronic devices.”
So what exactly does this mean for the future gadgets? It will most likely keep the components inside your phone thinner and it could potentially allow for super thin, transparent screens.
Since graphene is so thin, the commercialization of it could usher in the slimmest transistors yet-potentially yielding gadgets that are much sleeker than today’s existing smartphones.
Graphene is said to deliver Internet to smartphones 100 times faster, according to research from the University of Bath’s Department of Physics. This is essentially because graphene can convert light faster than the materials used in today’s existing smartphone components. The report explains that data travels in the form of light when it hits your smartphone, so the faster it can convert light the faster data can reach you.
One factor holding graphene back is cost. Some U.S. vendors are selling a layer of graphene on copper foil for about $60 a square inch. “It needs to be around one dollar per square inch for high-end electronic applications such as fast transistors, and for less than 10 cents per square inch for touch-screen displays,” estimates Kenneth Teo.
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