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Graphene gets commercialised in new battery tech

Wonder-material graphene, a honeycomb lattice of carbon just one atom thick, is finally set to appear in a commercial product thanks to an agreement between California Lithium Battery and the Argonne National Laboratory.

Discovered by Hans-Peter Hoehm in 1962, graphene was relatively unknown until Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester carried out a series of eye-raising experiments on the substance. Thanks to their work, for which they earned the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics, graphene was found to have a wide range of remarkably properties which promise to revolutionise the electronics industry.

Graphene has been suggested as a means of improving the performance of transistors, boosting the capacity of lithium-ion batteries by a factor of ten, as a way of creating an ‘optical diode’ for terabit-speed optical communications and even convincing electrons to move at the speed of light.

All these potential applications have one thing in common, however: they’re confined to the laboratory. Despite years of research and numerous claims of a breakthrough in one field or another, graphene remains the stuff of scientific papers rather than commercial products.


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