How much do you know about Graphene, the wonder material? Should it suffice to know that it’s stronger than diamond, being the world’s strongest material?  It’s actually 300 (yes, three hundred) times stronger than steel. And this supermaterial has many other properties that we’re going to talk about. It matters right now to know more about graphene because the European Union has just decided to give $1.35 billion for the research around the graphene material.

What’s interesting is that Nokia is part of the Graphene Flagship Consortium, amongst other 73 companies. Could this mean that in the future we’ll see other products from Nokia, different than smartphones? What’s very important about this material is that its development grant has been officially described by the European Commission as one of “the largest research excellence awards in history”, which highlights even more, the role of this wonder material. This nice animated video below should be able to explain everything in detail.


So, Mister G, the graphene, is the first 2D material which gives him unique properties: it’s also only 1 atom thin, which is unbelievable. And the discovery of graphene is very recent – in 2004, scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov discovered the material on the surface of an adhesive tape. For this simple discovery, they were both awarded, in 2010, with the Noble prize for physics. To resume, here are the super forces of graphene:

Graphene

  • First 2D crystal ever known to humanity
  • Thinnest object ever obtained
  • Lightest object ever obtained
  • World’s strongest material (harder than diamond, 300x stronger than steel)
  • Conducts electricity (even better than copper)
  • Transparent material
  • Bendable material (takes any form you want)

Derivatives from the graphene are already available and these are the ones that will be used in different industries, from smartphones, to airplanes. Looking at all the properties from the above, it’s easy to understand why it matters that much to the European Union and to everybody.

Nokia seems very interested

Nokia also seems very excited about this opportunity:

Nokia is proud to be involved with this project, and we have deep roots in the field – we first started working with graphene already in 2006. Since then, we have come to identify multiple areas where this material can be applied in modern computing environments. We’ve done some very promising work so far, but I believe the greatest innovations have yet to be discovered.

Could Nokia implement this technology in its upcoming phones? I really hope so, because when you think about it you realize that we want our phones and devices to have not only greater storage capabilities, powerful performances or awesome displays, but we’re in desperate need for more battery, for example, I wouldn’t say no to a smartphone that I can throw at my wall or drop without having to worry. And maybe graphene can help us here, the gadget lovers. This could also help open the gate for flexible and even transparent devices.

If you remember, Nokia had once delighted us with the Morph Concept which revolves around flexible and transparent devices. And the concept is still on Nokia’s website. And now we see that they’re the single big company to take part in this crucial movement. We can only hope it can become reality. Nokia’s advantage in this project is that they have the Nokia Research Center, which has more than 500 people across 13 cities all over the world. Here’s another concept-video detailing what could become our day-by-day gadgets:

But there are many other fields where graphene could be applied and where it could change our lives for ever, such as solar panels, computer chips and even electric windows. The research around the graphene is said to span across 10 years, so let’s hope that by 2025 we will be able to bend smartphone, drop tablets and do other awesome things that right now are impossible.

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is the Managing Editor of Technically Personal. When he has some extra-time, he writes about Windows 8 apps and reviews them on Wind8Apps. Believes that technology is the main engine of civilization. Send him a tweet or make him your Facebook friend