Will Graphene become a reality or remain just another Sci-Fi movie?

Back to the future; image credit: backtothefuture.wikia

Back to the future; image credit: backtothefuture.wikia

Sci-Fi movies such as Back To the Future, Matrix or Star Wars are inspiring and enables me to dream and hope of a better future: more connected and technologically advanced. Graphene or the new “wonder material” has such characteristics that it promises us the same dream. Will Graphene become a reality or remain just another Sci-Fi movie?

Graphene is an atom thick layer of carbon that is harder than diamond, incredibly flexible and the best conductor of electricity. Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov from the University of Manchester discovered it in 2004 and received the nobel prize of physics in 2010. Graphene is to bring innovation breakthroughs within the next 5 years and according to the The Wall Street Journal, there are significant growth opportunities, estimated to be CAGR 55.54% for the next 10 years.

Value proposition of Graphene

Graphene is going to revolutionise the world of technology and bring value in at least these three various aspects:

1- Increase in speed of devices

A new Graphene Device Structure was discovered by Samsung in May 2012 enabling “new transistors that can overcome the limits of conventional silicon”. It means that instead of using silicon, we will use Graphene which is higher by 200 times in electron mobility, hence increasing the speed of devices.

2- Flexibility: Bendable smartphones (light and foldable)

Not only speed will increase, but because Graphene is the thinnest and the most flexible material in the world, it will enable technology companies such as Samsung, or Powerbooster Technologies to produce bendable and lighter smartphones. The screen will be so thin that you will be able to fold it and shape it into bigger screens or even a watch. 

3-Strength: Greater batteries and unbreakable touchscreens

On top of increasing the speed and the flexibility of devices, Graphene will make it unbreakable as it is stronger than diamond. ”Graphene has a very high surface area and is capable of storing a much greater charge than electrolyte capacitors”, hence, enabling you to charge your phone in 30 seconds.

Overall, Graphene will enable innovations and bring value to devices in speed, flexibility and strength. But also, in health, aviation&aerospace and other industries. Although, no real product is out today from the ‘miracle molecule”, the hopes are high for it and so is the budget. The EU commission is investing 1 billion euros on it for the next ten years. Manchester, the city, where it was founded, is investing 70 million euros to build a National Graphene Institute. The possibility of Graphene being just another Sci-Fi movie exist, however the hopes and the investment on it are higher. To be continued…

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