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Graphene: The 2D Material That’s Set To Change The World!

If you aren’t already familiar with graphene, you’ll be hearing plenty about it over the next few years. It’s not often that the scientific community makes the kind of discovery that could change everything. But with graphene, that’s exactly what we’re looking at. A material that’s been right there in front of us all along, but it’s just beginning to demonstrate its true potential as a global game-changer.

The Discovery Of Graphene

Interestingly, the scientific community has been fully aware of its existence for quite some time. It’s just that nobody had yet come up with a workable method for extracting it from graphite. This all changed in 2004, when two researchers at The University of Manchester, Prof Andre Geim and Prof Kostya Novoselov, finally made it happen.

And to say their accomplishment has huge significance for the world as a whole would be a marked understatement.

Flexible, Light & Conductive

Graphene is, quite simply, strong and thin on a level that’s mind-blowing. 200 times stronger than steel and a million times thinner than a strand of hair, the world’s first official ‘two-dimensional’ material is the stuff of pure sci-fi fantasy.

What’s more, graphene is incredibly conductive, can be layered as required by the application and can also be combined with other materials and liquids. Even if science isn’t really your thing, it isn’t difficult to understand the incredible significance of this remarkable material.

The Economic Impact

In terms of what it all means in an economic sense, the short answer is – a lot! In fact, it’s currently estimated that the global market for graphene products will already hit the £500 million mark by the end of the current decade.

With such extraordinary lightweight properties and huge strength, it could be used to dramatically increase the efficiency and capability of cars, planes, boats and machinery across the board. Its electrical and thermal properties will undoubtedly see graphene becoming a staple in the development of advanced technology and electronics.

Graphene could, and probably will, transform the way the world approaches the design and manufacturing of millions of products society has become reliant on. While at the same time, paving the way for advanced innovation like never before.

What Is Graphene Used For Today?

For the time being, graphene is playing a modest role in the manufacture of various consumer products – which include light bulbs, tennis racquets and wearable technology. But we’ve really only just begun scratching the surface with regard to what graphene is capable of – the significance of its successful extraction simply cannot be overstated.

The Potential Of Graphene

It’s actually quite difficult to picture a future where graphene has made its mark on a global basis. The reason being that the products, devices and vehicles we consider sophisticated today could ultimately become relics of a rather remedial era. Giving way instead to the kind of technology that’s never before been possible to produce.

Graphene has the potential to turn science fiction into pure science. And that’s exactly what it’s just beginning to do. Whichever way things go, it’s an exciting time for the global scientific community and one that will no doubt go down in the history books as one of the world’s greatest discoveries.   

Further Information: Follow Innovate UK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/innovateuk

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