Graphene: Promise Unfolding or Illusion Revisited?

Mish

Graphene, a rage that fizzled, is back in the news. Will it fare better this time?

Graphene is an allotrope (form) of carbon consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is the basic structural element of many other allotropes of carbon, such as graphite, diamond, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes.

Graphene Properties

  • It is the strongest material ever tested
  • It efficiently conducts heat and electricity
  • It is nearly transparent.
  • It shows a large and nonlinear diamagnetism, greater than that of graphite, and can be levitated by neodymium magnets.

Graphene Structure

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Graphene is an atomic-scale hexagonal lattice made of carbon atoms. It transmits heat and electricity far better than copper.

What's Not to Like?

​The New Yorker explains Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible to Use.

That article is from 2014.

It's a fascinating article on how graphene was discovered and the problems working with it.

It's lengthy but well worth a read regarding amazing accidents as well as the difficulties involved in producing the stuff.

Once-Hot Material Returns

If we flash forward to today, Bloomberg reports Once-Hot Material Graphene Could Be Next Battery Breakthrough.

Remember graphene? The advanced material -- made up of a lattice of carbon atoms -- may be poised for a comeback, albeit a quiet one, Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Julia Attwood said in a presentation at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit on Tuesday.

Super lightweight, highly conductive of heat and electricity and, pound for pound, stronger than steel, it was all the rage a decade ago. In 2010, the scientists who first extracted it won the Nobel Prize in Physics. “The perfect atomic lattice,” the announcement gushed.

In November, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology announced that its researchers had developed a “graphene ball,” a material that would allow lithium-ion batteries to charge five times faster and have 45 percent more capacity. That alone could have big impact on both consumer electronics and the automotive industries.

“People are concerned about the comparison of filling up the gas tank and charging your car battery,” Attwood said. “Suddenly that’s not a problem because you only have to stop for 10 minutes and you can get another 200, 300 miles out of your car.”

Given its wild ride in the past decade, graphene also offers a unique case study in how startups in emerging technologies can withstand fickle public interest. One company, Skeleton Technologies, of Estonia, has zeroed in on energy storage -- “an industry that needs innovation at any cost,” Attwood says. Another company, Applied Graphene Materials, raised $18 million in an initial public offering. “Their stock price has dropped off a lot, but they’re an established name in the industry now and are ready to ride a graphene resurgence,” Attwood said.

One day, graphene might enable all sorts of cool gadgets -- from bendy phones to magazines that connect to the Internet. Until then, it’ll probably keep on improving things quietly, very differently from its moment in the limelight a decade ago.

Graphene Balls

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Please consider Samsung Develops Battery Material with 5x Faster Charging Speed.

Recently, a team of researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) developed a “graphene* ball,” a unique battery material that enables a 45% increase in capacity, and five times faster charging speeds than standard lithium-ion batteries. The breakthrough provides promise for the next generation secondary battery market, particularly related to mobile devices and electric vehicles. In its research, SAIT collaborated closely with Samsung SDI as well as a team from Seoul National University’s School of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Creative Destruction

I am asked all the time, "where will new jobs come from?"

I do not know, nor does anyone else. But I have long thought that an advancement in energy would be the ticket.

This could be it, or it could be solar, or perhaps medical.

Although driverless cars and trucks will destroy millions of jobs, just because we cannot identify where the new jobs will come from does not mean they will not come.

This is of course little consolation for those who are displaced and untrained.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (23)
No. 1-23
AWC
AWC

Rename it Graphene Coin, and float an ICO. Billions will be made.

tedr01
tedr01

These 'new' jobs might not come at all.

Realist
Realist

I suspect the new jobs will come. It’s been that way for 300 years and I see no reason for it to change. Of course, the new jobs will require more skills, more education, and lifelong learning.

Snow_Dog
Snow_Dog

1988 : “Build it and they will come!”

2018 : “Destroy them (jobs) so we can find out where they will come from”

pgp
pgp

Be careful what you wish for. A new source of energy will only inspire more growth, particularly with regard to population, but on a finite planet with declining space, water and food resources its seems unlikely to make society better.

tedr01
tedr01

Yep. Exactly. To many people on this planet. Those who are smart will understand this and make plans to deal with this problem and the coming collapse of new job creation and the great social unrest that is certain to follow.

JonSellers
JonSellers

And of course there is no reason that millions of new jobs will be created in the US versus the 3rd world.

Realist
Realist

IS job growth by year (millions)
2011: 2.1
2012: 2.1
2013: 2.3
2014: 3.0
2015: 2.7
2016: 2.2
2017: 2.2
Millions are created every year in the US.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

I agree too.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

I agree. So true.

hmk
hmk

You doomsayers have been listenining to Bruce Sprinsteens Downbound Train to much. This country still has the most opportunity for someone to help himself move up the ladder. Its funny I keep hearing about the shortage of skilled labor everywhere and that it is constraining capacity. If you are unambitious like a good p and want to suck off govt tits you will stay in a low paying job forever. Then of course you can blame everyone else for your situation. If you want to better yourself and get a high paying job the opportunity is there. I see a lot of millennials just staying at home doing very little productively. Part of the problem is the parents part is the govt who supports those the parents can't.

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

Let's put that process into reverse; instead of producing smarter technology to satisfy the needs of rising population, let's produce smarter population. Oh, wait...

Carl_R
Carl_R

There is much to learn about carbon structures. Other forms of carbon that are not yet fully understood include nanotubes and fullerenes (bucky balls).

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

At a minimum it would reduce crypto mining cost.

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

Sure - and markets and temps only go up. Study history and you will find that nature does not need man to reach equilibrium. In fact, man is impotent in changing the cyclical trends of business, climate, etc. The coming cooling cycle will be much worse than the lower low of the past warming cycle. Growth occurs during warming cycles, and the crop failures, plagues, and wars associated with global cooling will once again prune the population. https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/climate/agriculture-global-cooling/

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

Growth and prosperity will occur where freedom is permitted and the rule of law is equally enforced. This trend in the west is in decline.

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

Get govt out of the way, especially in education, and the natural entrepreneurial spirit of free people will produce value and jobs.

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

Man may be the only species in the universe that possesses the hubris and self-importance to believe they can manipulate the cycles of the universe. These people typically exist in govt, where there are no mirrors and getting reelected is dependent on convincing voters they can defy the laws of nature and mathematics, like exponential growth in govt spending is sustainable, and the climate only warms so we must tax carbon, even though CO2 levels were much higher millions of years ago before man and his evil internal combustion engine improved the living standards of millions. https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/uncategorized/population-growth-really-a-problem/

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

The key to any of this stuff is to underpromise and overdeliver. Graphene is an interesting substance for chemists to run experiments with. Someone needs to tell the scientists to stop speculating in front of the press if they don't want to look foolish.


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