Graphene: the material that will revolutionize the world
Mobile industries, automotive, aerospace and health are preparing for the benefits of the new material.
It is hyperfine, flexible, 200 times stronger than steel and also cheap to produce.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2016 – 17:42 CET
There a material likely revolutionize most industries. It’s called graphene, it is hyperfine, flexible and has a high conductivity, and although years ago we talk about it, it is now when you are seeing the first real applications of this substance.
At Mobile World Congress (MWC) some samples, as ultrafast batteries or flexible displays, graphene were but is destined to revolutionize the world.
Technically, graphene is a two-dimensional material, consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pure grid. Is very light -five times the aluminum-, flexible and 200 times stronger than steel, and has other qualities, such as its high conductivity of heat and electricity and, above all, it is cheap.
Graphene is lighter than aluminum five times and 200 times stronger than steel. It is flexible, and also has a high conductivity of heat and electricity. Above, it is relatively inexpensive to produce.
There are many industries that could apply this material to improve its current products. One is mobile, flexible screens and longer lasting batteries, but also the automobile and aeronautics.
He is spoken for years and works in graphene, but has not been until recent months that we are seeing the first products made with this material. Nevertheless, even soon be a large-scale equipment used ..
In practice, this means that it can be built with many of the elements we already know but with less cost, and with higher performance impact. It first observed in 1964, it was not until 2004 when researchers Andre Geim yKonstantin Novoselov rediscovered and described accurately, a study that earned them the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. “Many materials meet any of the characteristics of graphene . But only one of it unites all, opening up enormous possibilities, “said the Novoselov at MWC, where he was one of the star guests.
HOPE AND REALITY
ICFO was the coordinator of graphene pavilion at MWC, an area where companies and institutions researching this material and, for the first time, presented actual tests of products made with this substance met. One was the empresaZap Go, a company based in Oxford that makes graphene chargers. “Our first product is a battery charger made with graphene. Looking ahead, it may also introduce graphene batteries in mobile, thanks to its properties will be possible to charge the phone in just five minutes, “he told this newspaper Tim Walder, CFO of the company.
Another product that have been seen in the flexible sonpantallas congress made with graphene. “Your chances are impressive. In a few years people will be mobile on your wrist, “he stressed a team member of FlexEnable, which showed a 4.7-inch screen and a thickness of only 0.03 mm panel also touch. Other companies exponíansensores light (transparent, flexible and low consumption, based on graphene, may take the form for example cuff to measure heart rate) or a shirt with conductive inks that emit sound when touched. “Flexible phones will be a reality within a few years, and also with ultra-fast battery charging” Koppens predicts.
But mobile technology is not the only sector that will change almost completely. “The automotive sector is one of those who will benefit most. We are talking about lighter and more capable batteries, plus all type sensors. In the future, why not, a chassis graphene, lighter and resistant would be possible, says Koppens.
The aviation industry will also benefit, for example with wings and all kinds of lighter parts, or the health sector, with flexible sensors, embeddables under the skin or clothing of the people, for monitoring vital signs any citizen.
Nevertheless, there are still barriers to overcome, including own manufacture graphene, which has yet to evolve. “There is still much research to reach a large scale. We will see some products made with graphene in the next five years, but do not think there is a widespread use until at least 10 years, “Koppens predicts.
Fight to lead the research and production of graphene
Graphene has raised great expectations, which has also led to a ‘struggle’ to achieve be the first to master this material. It is being investigated, and much, especially in Asia (South Korea and China), where large companies like Samsung are devoting much effort (and registering thousands of patents).
But in Europe they are also carrying out many investigations, especially after the European Union will create a fund of 1,000 million euros to finance research projects on graphene. “Spain is well positioned, is one of the countries where there is more research and also industry soon created around the graphene,” says Professor Koppens.
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