In a world where mobile devices become thinner and could even be worn on our hand or as glasses, graphene is a material that will unlock a lot of new and unexplored opportunities in the industry. This material is stronger than steel, more flexible than rubber and more electrically conductive than most metals, and with these properties it can make future devices thinner, more flexible and stronger, but these are not the only advantages that the “miracle material” has to offer.
What is graphene?
Graphene is a graphite, which is spread to a width of one atom. The arrangement of carbon atoms in a specific order makes it 100 times stronger than steel and diamonds. According to scientists it is so thin, that 28 grams of the material can cover 28 football fields. Although it has been about a decade since its first extraction while it’s known for more than a decade, it is only now that the subject of graphene becomes more relevant. There are a lot more applications for the material and in the very near future we may see it applied in the automotive industry, environmental protection, medicine, mobile devices and many others. But for now we will look at its use in the manufacture of smartphones, tablets and other mobile technologies.
Faster than ever Internet connection
Every mobile device on the market is called mobile for one simple reason – it is compact and thanks to the advanced wireless technologies it has great connectivity options. What does that have to do with graphene? Scientists of the Georgia Institute of Technology believe that they can create a Wi-Fi antenna emitting and receiving data at a rate of 1 terabit per second. In theory, this speed can reach up to 100Tbit/s if you are closer to the antenna. Simply put, you can download 100 movies with the highest resolution for the time while you are making your morning coffee.
“Graphene can be made in sizes between 10 and 100 nanometers width and one micrometer length. Capable of transmitting and receiving information at a rate of one terahertz and by increasing its size, the capacity of transmitted information is also increased.”
Currently there aren’t any completed prototypes, but scientists have a promising plan for the creation of such an antenna. Everything is still in the development and planning stage, but the technology would allow for never before seen connectivity speed of various computer components, such as HDD, SSD and microchips.
The end of slow charing and competition for higher capacity batteries
As we already mentioned, graphene is the best conductor of electricity. Scientists from UCLA are the first to benefit from this feature, making it possible to charge your smartphone for a whopping 5 second, your laptop for 30 seconds and an electric car for the same amount of time that a normal car gets refueled.
The technology for the new batteries is developed by Richard Keynar and Mater El Kadi, who claim that batteries with their technology aren’t more expensive than ordinary ones, nor are they dangerous for the environment. Quite the opposite, graphene is completely biodegradable. The project is ready for realization, in other words, Kayner is looking for a serious partner to start the mass production of the batteries.
If you want to learn more about the technology you can take a look at the video below, which explains in detail what led came to this revolutionary discovery.
Soon there will be no need for screen protectors
With the continuous expanding of the mobile devices industry, sales of tablets and smartphones in 2016 are expected to reach $847 billion worldwide, and it the next 5 years wearable devices could hit $19 billion. Under such conditions, competition is becoming fiercer and graphene will be the material that will allow for greater market competitiveness. Companies such as Google, Apple and Samsung are always looking for new opportunities to get ahead of their competitors. Graphene could be the key to this success. With its exceptional strength and flexibility, the material will bring users the coveted qualities of an indestructible smartphone. Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle before large companies on the road to mass production of graphene displays is the expensive machining. In Seoul National University, Byung Hee Hong has developed the technology and owns the patent for mass production of graphene displays. His comment on the matter is:
“Global technology companies are facing innovation limits in hardware and design, and in order to step over to the next level, they need to adopt new materials like graphene. Our key graphene technology is receiving considerable interest from firms including Apple, Samsung and even Google.”
Currently there is no official information from Apple that they are working on the technology or trying to acquire the patent. Even the chief spokesman of the California company declined to comment on the matter for Bloomberg. Unlike Samsung, information on public patents, including the one related to graphene, is limited, but it seems that the company is exploring the possibilities of the technology and its implementation in their future devices.
Headphones with phenomenal sound quality
Researchers from the University of California have found an application for graphene even in the music industry. Unlike conventional membranes, those made of graphene have a diameter of 7 mm, but at the same time they are 30 nanometers thick and extremely durable. This layer is glued between two silicon dioxide electrodes and thus they reproduce sound with never-before-heard quality. The biggest advantage of this technology is that the membrane doesn’t need any additional moisture and it practically remains eternal and indestructible. Even though the technology is still far from developed and not optimized, it allows ordinary headphones to offer the quality of professional audio equipment.
Is there anything that graphene isn’t capable of? With its wide application, this miraculous material can make our lives easier, the surrounding environment cleaner and much more. All we have left is to hope that large companies are soon going to start investing in the development of various technologies and that they will be made available to the end user.
Translated by Nikolay Antov