Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 1st, 2010

“Graphene Valley”: Where and when?

In 2004, Andre Geim isolated the matter grapheme (graphene), a component of graphite such as the one used in traditional pencil.

Graphene is 200 times more resistant than steel, 100 times more conducting than silicium (silicon), and 6 folds less heavy than silicium used as semi-conductor in electronic  and computer circuits.

Graphene is transparent and highly malleable; thus future screens could be in any shape and you may fold it to cigarette size and inserted behind your ears, if you wish.

Graphene is a natural element and in abundance, though it currently cost 600 billions to produce a mere square meter.

When the screen is made of graphene then, the entire screen is conducting and you don’t need computer circuit; the power needed is negligible, it is “environmentally clean”, (polluting oxide of titanium and oxide of indium are out of the window), and it can be folded any which way you desire.

South Korean researchers have already introduced a touch screen in that material. Many are planning a location for “Graphene Valley”.

Andre Geim stated: “In general, it takes about 20 years to cross from scientific research to application, and another 10 years to mass producing.  Within only 5 years of my discovery graphene is already used in the industrial stage.”

Physicist Antonio Castro Neto at the University of Boston is optimist that graphene screens will be market within two years.

Not so quick.

We know that electric cars and hybrid cars were applied long time ago but have not been produced and marketed widely, so far. What about the trillion of dollars invested in oil refineries, gas stations, and millions of cars circulating on gas?

You might retort that this is another ball game:  copper was displaced quickly by germanium and then, by silicium; so graphene will displace silicon as quickly when production cost is lowered.

No so quickly.

The chemist Rod Ruoff of University of Texas  said: “I have not met a single employee in the electronic and computer sectors who believe in a total replacement of silicon. Most probably, hybrid products will be the norm.”

The scenario for the event of mass production is as follows:

First, the US secret service agencies and the Pentagon will acquire graphene equipments quickly, if they don’t have it already.

Second, the multinational companies will pronto get these performing computers and communication components.

Third, the rich will pay whatever it cost to satisfying their ego, even if they never touched a computer.

Fourth, the remainders of the powerful nations will equip their intelligence agencies and their military headquarters  with the latest gizmos.

Fifth, after multinationals in the sector regroup then, they will be permitted to monopolize the business for a while.

Sixth, after the cash cow period, of maybe four years, then market competition will be opened to the secondary players.

I guess the common mortals will have to wait another 7 years before a slightly improved hybrid of silicon and graphene screens and circuits are marketed as cellular phones and portable computers.

The valley of Santa Clara will still be on the map for some time.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2010
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