In the new year I plan to start a series “future kong” where I will be highlighting new technologies and cutting edge concepts primed for future investment, as well as researching the companies involved.
If you haven’t already heard of “graphene” you’d better listen up.
What is graphene?
Graphene is a revolutionary carbon based material made of a single layer of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons. Graphene is one million times thinner than paper. So thin in fact…….that it is actually considered two dimensional.
Paradoxically, Graphene is also said to be the strongest material every made. So strong in fact, that if we rolled out a single sheet ( less than the thickness of plastic wrap ) and could balance an elephant on the head of a pencil – the tip could not break through.Yes…….that kind of strong.
Graphene’s special properties don’t stop there…not even close:
- Conductive: Electrons are the particles that make up electricity. So when graphene allows electrons to move quickly, it is allowing electricity to move quickly. It is known to move electrons 200 times faster than silicon because they travel with such little interruption. It is also an excellent heat conductor. Graphene is conductive independent of temperature and works normally at room temperature.
- Strong: As mentioned earlier, it would take an elephant with excellent balance to break through a sheet of graphene. It is very strong due to its unbroken pattern and the strong bonds between the carbon atoms. Even when patches of graphene are stitched together, it remains the strongest material out there.
- Flexible: Those strong bonds between graphene’s carbon atoms are also very flexible. They can be twisted, pulled and curved to a certain extent without breaking, which means graphene is bendable and stretchable.
- Transparent: Graphene absorbs 2.3 percent of the visible light that hits it, which means you can see through it without having to deal with any glare.
With only about 10 years of practical research thus far, the real world applications are endless, including production of solar cells “hundreds of thousands of times thinner and lighter” than those that rely on silicon, more efficient computer transistors, “bendable electronics”, applications in engineering/building as well space aeronautics – and the list goes on.
So far there are a few companies worth taking a look at as early adopters / movers in the space.
Graftech International Ltd. ( symbol GTI ) is on my radar, looking for a pullback since its recent break out.