How will graphene change our lives?
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Wonder material graphene could not only dominate the electronic market in the near future, it could also lead to a huge range of new markets and novel applications, according to a landmark paper by the University of Manchester and Lancaster University.
Writing in Nature, Nobel Prize-winner Professor Kostya Novoselov and an international team of authors including Vladimir Falko of Lancaster University, has produced a graphene roadmap which for the first time sets out what the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material can truly achieve.
The paper details how graphene has the potential to revolutionise diverse applications from smartphones and ultrafast broadband to anticancer drugs and computer chips.
One key area is touchscreen devices, such as Apple's iPad, which use indium tin oxide. Graphene's outstanding mechanical flexibility and chemical durability are far superior. Graphene touchscreen devices would prove far more long-lasting and would open a way for flexible devices.
The authors estimate that the first graphene touchscreen devices could be on the market within three to five years, but it will only realise its full potential in flexible electronics applications.
Rollable e-paper is another application which should be available as a prototype by 2015 - graphene's flexibility proving ideal for fold-up electronic sheets which could revolutionise electronics.
Timescales for applications vary greatly depending upon the quality of graphene required, the report claims. For example, the researchers estimate devices including photo-detectors, high-speed wireless communications and THz generators (for use in medical imaging and security devices) would not be available until at least 2020, while anticancer drugs and graphene as a replacement for silicon is unlikely to become a reality until around 2030.
Professor Vladimir Falko, who co-authored the paper, said: "In our paper, we aim to raise awareness and alert engineers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to the enormous potential of graphene to improve the existing technologies and to generate new products.
"In some countries, including Korea, Poland and the UK, national funding agencies already run multi-million engineering-led research programmes aiming at commercialisation of graphene at a large scale."
Thu 11 October 2012
Lancaster University physicists have welcomed the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert.
Story supplied by LU Press Office
Tue 08 October 2013
The Space Plasma Environment and Radio Science (SPEARS) group in Physics ran the biennial EISCAT radar symposium on campus 12-16 August 2013.
Thu 22 August 2013
A Lancaster University physics graduate has been selected for the European Space Agency's Young Graduate Trainee Programme.
Mon 12 August 2013
Professor Henning Schomerus is quoted in The Guardian (26 July) on writing a personal statement for admissions.
Many physics undergrad hopefuls mention a lot of the same books, or say they read the New Scientist, says Professor Henning Schomerus, physics admissions tutor at Lancaster University. "This wouldn't put me off, but I would probably more or less ignore it," he says. If you want to talk about a journal you read, pick out an article and discuss why it interests you.
Be specific. If The Big Bang Theory sparked your interest in physics, explain why. Schomerus, for instance, likes the episode where Sheldon takes a job as an unpaid waiter to try to discover how electrons move through graphene - it's an area he's done research in.
"Make the statement truly personal," he says.
Fri 26 July 2013