Wednesday, 30 April 2014

excited about graphene

Graphene: Image by AlexanderAlUS, and taken from
Wikimedia Commons here
So tell me, is there a bit of future-tech that you're excited about?

For me, it's graphene*.

What was that?  What on earth is graphene?  Let me tell you.

Graphene is a form of carbon.  You already know about coal, diamonds, graphite (in your pencil) and buckminsterfullerene, well now there's graphene too.

Graphene is a one atom thick sheet of graphite, and unlike the 'lead' in your pencil, it is very strong and almost transparent.  It's also really good at conducting heat and electricity.

Graphene was 'discovered' in 2004 (using sticky tape!), and there's been lots of research done on it since then.  Researchers are finding lots of interesting things you can do with it, many of which involve using graphene to make sandwiches with other chemicals.  

For example, researchers are looking at using graphene sandwiched with latex to make super strong, super thin, graphene condoms.  

But the thing that is exciting me about graphene is the same thing that is exciting Samsung, who have filed more patents on possible graphene applications than any other company.  What's that?  Tough, flexible, touchscreens.

Image taken from Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar
Galactica.  Zoe is shown using an E-sheet.
Picture taken from Battlestarwiki, here
An end to smashed glass on smart phones!  That would be fantastic for a clumsy person like me, but what I'm really hoping for is this: An E-sheet, like that used in Caprica, and referred to in Battlestar Galactica - a foldable paper-thin electronic device which serves much as a tablet does.  Just think.  You could lay it flat on your table to type a document, and then fold it up in your pocket and plug your headphones in (or have bluetooth maybe) to listen to your podcasts on the go.  

Please Graphene, make the E-sheet possible for me!

So, what are you excited about?  And while I'm asking stuff, do you miss Tomorrow's World?

Other posts you might like:

The book challenge
Words at 1/5/14 - 71,500 (this number has dropped as I've split the 'book' into two books, and am now only counting the first).  
32,000 words done since the challenge began, 14,500 last month (that's a record).
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 17.
What I did last - Work planning.

*I'm not a graphene expert, so I got lots of information for this post from WikipediaGraphenea, and Stuff You Should Know