Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
4/5/2014
09:06 AM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Samsung Researchers Celebrate Promising Graphene Breakthrough

A new manufacturing technique could accelerate use of the world's strongest material in computers and other products.

IBM Predicts Next 5 Life-Changing Tech Innovations
IBM Predicts Next 5 Life-Changing Tech Innovations
(Click image for larger view.)

Flexible displays, terahertz chips, and vastly improved electronics just got closer to emerging from laboratories and reaching the market, thanks to the work of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea.

Samsung Electronics announced Friday that its researchers have found a way to accelerate the commercialization of graphene, a material endowed with exceptional conductivity, strength, flexibility, lightness, and transparency.

Discovered in 2004 by professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester -- a feat that earned them the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics -- graphene is seen as a wonder material that can revolutionize products and industrial processes across multiple industries.

Graphene is the strongest material in the world; it's stronger than diamond and about 300 times stronger than steel. Yet it's flexible. It's also the thinnest material in the world; it can be made in sheets one atom thick, which also makes it transparent. It's the best electrical conductor known.

[The first smartphones with the Microsoft's Windows 8.1 mobile operating system hit the market. Read Nokia Unveils Windows 8.1 Smartphones.]

The reason graphene isn't everywhere is that it's difficult to manufacture. That's why researchers around the globe are trying to simplify the process. It's a matter of scientific and national interest. Those companies capable of integrating graphene into industrial processes are likely to play a major role in the 21st-century equivalent of the semiconductor revolution that played out in the second half of the 20th century.

Last year, the University of Manchester began building a $100 million National Graphene Institute to commercialize the substance. But research groups in China, South Korea, and the US, among other countries, also have recognized the commercial potential of graphene and are racing to find ways to manufacture the material at scale and to make it commercially useful.

(Source: Wikipedia)
(Source: Wikipedia)

Graphene's presence in consumer goods is limited at the moment to tennis rackets made by Head. But it is likely to be used in future mobile phone touchscreens (particularly flexible ones) and for powerful, energy-efficient computer processors. In November, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to the National Graphene Institute to develop a graphene-based condom, which could advance the foundation's public health goals.

SAIT found a way to grow uniform single-crystal monolayer graphene on a silicon wafer, a necessary step to use graphene on chips instead of traditional semiconductors. Previous efforts focused on multi-crystal synthesis -- adding small graphene particles to cover a large area -- but that process degraded the advantageous properties of the material.

In a press release, Samsung Electronics called its researchers' work "one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history."

Too many companies treat digital and mobile strategies as pet projects. Here are four ideas to shake up your company. Also in the Digital Disruption issue of InformationWeek: Six enduring truths about selecting enterprise software (free registration required).

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
4/5/2014 | 2:45:08 PM
Tough
Using tougher materials for devices is important. How often, for example, have we seen a cracked screen? Here's hoping that graphene can help reinforce the strangth of mobile devices.

I believe that mobile will be the biggest benefactor in this.

But one thing to think about is the fact that this may make phones more expensive because of added material costs.

We often talk about a future with throwaway devices. But with these types of materials, I wonder if that will happen at the upper end of smart devices. 
Paul987
100%
0%
Paul987,
User Rank: Strategist
4/5/2014 | 6:20:38 PM
Re: Tough
"I believe that mobile will be the biggest benefactor in this"

Dude, you should really read up on graphene if you think the biggest benefactor will be smartphones for crying out loud.  Graphene has huge potential for a wide range of uses, from medecine to energy production and storage to thermal management to name just a few.  

People really need to get over this obsession with smartphones.  There's a whole world beyond that little 5 inch screen.  


anon2880817580
50%
50%
anon2880817580,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/5/2014 | 7:55:29 PM
Let's see Apple sue over graphene...
Samsung pursues cutting-edge research that may change the world. 

Meanwhile, Apple sues Samsung over the ability to tap on a phone number in a text message and have it show up in the dialer.


I ask you: who is the innovator?
Utsalady
50%
50%
Utsalady,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/5/2014 | 9:24:25 PM
Biggest uses will be transportation, construction
Agree with Paul987, mobile is an area that might gain some minor advantage, but other areas are far greater. I see huge applications in areas like transportation: cars that are much lighter, yet much  stronger and safer, electric vehicles that can run much further on a battery, aircraft with greater fuel economy. Hey, even stronger but lighter bicycles if the stuff isn't too expensive.

Space exploration, where every gram of weight put into orbit takes about $20 in fuel (that's $20K per kilogram), is a prime area: The potentially higher cost of working with a material like graphene might be recovered entirely from fuel savings. We're talking about satellites that cost $200 million to build so they're not going to quibble about the high cost of a graphene part; cutting 100 kilograms of weight out of the satellite could cut launch costs by $2 million or more, particularly for high-orbit launches.

Imagine stronger bridges, stronger office buildings.  

 
Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
4/5/2014 | 9:26:10 PM
Re: Tough
@Paul
I agree, and I was thinking the same thing as I read the article. Not too surprising, when you consider that half the people in any given public space have their faces buried into smartphone screens :-) I came across an article that mentioned that if dopants can be introduced into graphene, it might be the next candidate material for building IC's. If wonder what the characteristic will be. Speed? Resistance to radiation?  And, depending on who you ask, graphene is 200 to 5000 times stronger than steel - the imagination is really the limit here!
James212
100%
0%
James212,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/6/2014 | 1:30:31 PM
Re: Tough
With this, Samsung will increase it's quality and durability.

 

http://etechnologytips.com
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2014 | 8:48:32 AM
Re: Biggest uses will be transportation, construction
Even if it is a consumer product that brings graphene to the market that is still a good thing.  Someone has to be the company that puts the money and effort into pushing technology.  You're right though that it has many more potential uses and I think that if we see the cost of manufacturing come down because it becomes popular in consumer electronics then we're better off for it.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 4:32:39 PM
Re: Tough
Imagination is one limit. Adapting legacy manufacturing systems is another. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for core industrial processes to catch up to allow graphene to be produced at scale and in a manner that works with current manufacturing infrastructure. But graphene undoubtedly is pretty amazing stuff. 
Gary_EL
50%
50%
Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2014 | 5:02:39 PM
Re: Tough
Remember "Buckyballs" from a decade or so ago? Now that manufacturers with DEEP Pockets are starting to get interested in this amazing nano-technology, it may finally migrate out of physics labs and onto the agendas of all sorts of engineers.
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
4/7/2014 | 5:40:52 PM
Re: Tough
It was a travesty when BuckyBalls were banned.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government Tech Digest Oct. 27, 2014
To meet obligations -- and avoid accusations of cover-up and incompetence -- federal agencies must get serious about digitizing records.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.