Advertisements

Science Has Just Had A Global Breakthrough… Have You Heard?

140415-tech-graphene2_5a7bdfa7b9f6c1c5b7bba8c5555e13aa

Irish researchers have achieved a breakthrough in the production of ‘wonder material’ graphene.  Scientists at the AMBER, a materials science centre at Trinity College Dublin and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, have discovered a way to produce the material in industrial quantities.  What makes “Graphene” so incredible you may ask?  The substance is one the strongest known with a section 1mm thick being 200 times stronger than steel and a superconductor of electricity more than 1000 times more effective than copper.  It’s also 97.3 per cent transparent and extremely bendable.

graphene-chip

 

Until now, it was extremely difficult to produce because it is essentially a  single-atom thick sheets of carbon made from graphite.  In mass quantities, graphene could potentially revolutionize many parts of our lives, from providing the next step in battery technology, biomedical sensors, water filtration, to even photovoltaic cells used in solar panels  The Dublin findings are to be published in the Nature Materials publication, heralded as a ‘global breakthrough’.  “This shows how industry and academic collaboration can lead to research of the highest calibre, with real commercial applications,” Prof Jonathan Coleman from AMBER said.  “Graphene has been identified as a life changing material and to be involved at this stage of development is a wonderful achievement.”

IMG_0908-ibm-graphene-wafer-testing-hardware-1500px

Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock praised the team’s work, saying producing graphene in mass quantities is “something that USA, China, Australia, UK, Germany and other leading nations have all been striving for and have not yet achieved”. Thomas Swan Ltd have now signed a contract with AMBER to scale-up production.  The project was part of the Graphene Flagship, spanning 17 countries with 126 academics as well as industry partners working on a common goal, and was part of the €1 billion research project announced by the EU, of which Ireland received 1 per cent.

18goj49pmg50fjpgA simple breakdown of what graphene based products could do for our world reads just like this…

Plug your phone in for five seconds and it would be all charged up. The downside here is that you won’t be able to use a dead phone as an excuse anymore.

 

What if we actually had a clear solution for cleaning up the tainted water near Fukushima? Scientists at Rice say graphene could potentially clump together radioactive waste, making disposal is a breeze.

 

Water, water everywhere and EVERY drop drinkable. MIT mindshave a plan for a graphene filter covered in tiny holes just big enough to let water through and small enough to keep salt out, making salt water safe for consumption.

 

Touchscreens that use graphene as their conductor could beslapped onto plastic rather than glass. That would mean super thin, unbreakable touchscreens and never worrying about shattering your phone ever again.

 

Just a single sheet of graphene could produce headphones that have a frequency response comparable to a pair of Sennheisers, as some scientists at UC Berkeley recently showed us.

 

High-power graphene supercapacitors would make batteries obsolete.  You wouldn’t have to charge your phone for years.

 

Graphene could pave the way for bionic devices in living tissues that could be connected directly to your neurons. So people with spinal injuries, for example, could re-learn how to use their limbs.

 

Advertisements
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: