Commercialization of Graphene – How Close Are We?
By Will Soutter
Graphene has been referred to as the “strongest, most conductive, most flexible–and most hyped–material in the world.” Discovered in 2004, graphene is a crystalline form of carbon with the same basic molecular structure as graphite and carbon nanotubes. It is essentially a one-atom thick layer of the multi-layered graphite.
Graphene is very strong and light, almost transparent, and conducts electricity and heat extremely well. It is also the first natural two-dimensional substance discovered, which gives it many interesting properties which had not been observed before.
There has been a lot of talk about commercial applications for it since its discovery, but so far the real applications in industrial or commercial products have been very limited. What is holding graphene back–and will it ever live up to its theoretical potential in the real world?
There are certainly a large number of people doing their best to find commercial applications for graphene that the public will actually use. Many graphene-based inventions have been produced, but none have seen commercial success so far. Some of the better known graphene inventions to date include:
- The graphene-based holographic optical disc
- Graphene photodetectors
- DNA-based graphene transistors
- Graphene-copper composite
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