Have you heard of graphene?
This is a blog about why graphene may be the next multibillion-dollar material, holding the key to computing, healthcare and energy storage.
Graphene is a pure form of carbon that is very thin, very strong and very expensive.
When I say thin, I mean VERY thin – graphene is one atom thick (almost transparent).
And when I say strong, I mean VERY strong. For its very low weight, it is 100 times stronger than steel, as stiff as a diamond, and yet also flexible and even stretchable.
But its other characteristics are most interesting. It conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency (faster at room temperature than any other known material), and it charges and discharges 100x to 1000x faster than traditional batteries.
Right now, it’s expensive.
Nature reported in 2013 that just one micrometer-sized flake made in this [original] way can cost more than $1,000 — making graphene, gram for gram, one of the most expensive materials on Earth.
However, as mass production increases, there is potential for a 70% to 80% price drop, making graphene production much more economical. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD), for example, has brought the cost down to about $100,000 per square meter.
Estimates suggest that the graphene market will be $149.1 million by 2020, registering a CAGR of 44.0% from 2014 to 2020.
The European Union has also created a flagship program for graphene, allocating about $1.3 billion to spend on the development of graphene over the next 10 years.
So, what’s all the fuss about?
Graphene’s unique properties are valuable in many different industries and applications.
Here are seven of the most exciting examples:
If you’re interested in investing or learning more, the following companies are developing graphene solutions: ACS Material LLC., Angstron Material, Bluestone Global Tech, CVD Equipment Corporation, Graphene Laboratories, Graphene Nanochem PLC, Graphenea, Haydale Limited, Vorbrck Materials, XG Sciences.
Graphene is just one example of a new class of “super-materials” that we are discovering using exponential technologies like infinite computing, artificial intelligence and 3D printing.
These technologies will allow us to model new materials and material processes, and then actually bring them to market.
And the pace of innovation is accelerating rapidly.
For graphene alone, 3,018 graphene patent applications were granted by July 2011.
That number almost tripled to 8,413 by February 2013.
Carbon nanotubes and aerogels are similarly exciting.
Another (secret) company is actually producing perfect artificial diamonds for orders of magnitude cheaper than current diamond products.
Biomimetic nanomaterials are just coming online.
Stanene (two-dimensional tin sheets) may be the next super material that competes with graphene.
This is an incredibly exciting time for material science, and an incredible exciting time to be alive.
I work with my team to follow these developments closely, and I share them with my Abundance 360 mastermind (apply here if you’re interested in joining).
P.S. Every weekend I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to PeterDiamandis.com and sign up for this and my Abundance blogs.
P.P.S. Please forward this to your best clients, colleagues and friends — especially those who could use some encouragement as they pursue big, bold dreams.
Image by Flickr