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How Graphene could replace silicon technology in mobile devices

The wonder material Graphene – a two-dimensional layer one atom thick – could be poised to replace silicon technology as the backbone of the mobile technology industry. The material, successfully isolated using a lead pencil and sticky tape back in 2002 by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov won them the Nobel Prize in 2010. The incredible strength, near-transparency, conductivity and flexibility of the material make it perfect for technological applications like mobile devices. IBM has just demoed a graphene-based integrated circuit that functions 10,000 times better than their previous attempts.

How would you like one atom thick, transparent, indestructible components in your smartphone? / © IBM

In case you don't realize the scale of what graphene means for the technology sector, it could revolutionize internet speeds and make components near-indestructible. Its honeycomb-lattice structure is stronger than diamond so that seems feasible, and did I mention it's also flexible? The fact that it is one atom thin means it is actually two-dimensional, a quality not shared by any other material we know of (there are other contenders though), so it's not only thin but almost transparent too, making it perfect for touchscreens. Google is already using Graphene in its smart contact lenses.

AndroidPIT Graphene Structure
The honeycomb structure of Graphene contributes to its flexibility and strength. / © AlexanderAlUS

Graphene also conducts electricity and heat better than any three-dimensional material we currently have. So you can see how the combination of strength, conductivity, flexibility and transparency just scream mobile devices. At least, sooner or later. I suspect Samsung won't start investing in Sello Tape plants to manufacture the stuff this year, but IBM's new manufacturing method fully preserves the transistor quality, something that let down IBM's previous prototypes back in 2011, so we may see it appearing sooner than you might think. IBM demoed the circuit by sending a three-letter SMS: IBM. Something tells me this isn't the last time we'll be receiving messages about Graphene.

What do you think about the future of graphene? What impact do you think it could have on the mobile industry?

Source: BBC news

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  • If it makes creating consumer electronics cheaper? then I would expect more affordable consumer electronics for consumers to purchase ... stronger material & allowing for faster broadband - wifi - network is the future