It is one of the finest materials, flexible, strong and higher conductivity there. Although its structure is described more than eighty years, was first isolated in 2004 and in it lies a good part of the future of technological societies, as their potential applications are enormous. Now, for the first time, one of its discoverers, Kostya Novoselov (the other was Andre Geim and thus both received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010), trace in Nature a “road map of graphene”. Or what is the same, two-dimensional material explains how this will change our lives completely.Novoselov In article explains that graphene has, for example, the potential to revolutionize (again) the mobile phone industry, the telecommunications or chip manufacturing, but also to redefine how to develop cancer drugs.One of the most immediate changes will touch screens, so fashionable in tablets and smartphones in recent years. And thanks to which has exceptional mechanical flexibility and chemical resistance unsurpassed, well above that of the materials used today. According to the authors, the first graphene touchscreen will be released within a period ranging from three to five years. But that is only the first step. In fact, graphene opens a whole new era of “flexible devices.” A technological revolution comparable to that of the move of the lamps to transistors, or them to electronic circuits. In just over a decade, electronic devices are no longer rigid, as with the current, but elastic, allowing them to change their configuration (shape) and function according to the needs of the moment. For example, the mobile phone (or, rather, personal communications device) of the near future could be a kind of transparent plastic sheet, flexible and expandable, so that we can, at will, carry in your pocket or deploy several times until you have the Standard size of the screen of a computer. Each user choose whether to use your device to habar by phone, to see a movie, to work or to share documents with your contacts. Along this path, Novoselov believes the first prototypes of “electronic paper” will be available in 2015, ushering in a whole revolution in the field of electronics.
However, the ability to predict the arrival of the different applications of graphene has its limits. Depends, among other things, the quality of graphene that would be needed to actually convert. For example, researchers estimate that the development of ultrafast wireless communications networks, or ultra-precise devices for medical imaging may not be available until the late 2020s, while for new cancer drugs, or replacement full silicon (graphene) have to wait until 2030. The reason is that the procedures for obtaining graphene are, today, very complex. And get more complicated the higher the quality requirements for the new material. In their paper, the authors also detail the different methods of graphene production today, much better than what they themselves used in 2004. Each of these methods produces varieties of graphene with different potentials, ranging from manufacturing models cited “flexible devices” to “super batteries” intelligent crystals or electromagnetic shields.Novoselov In words, “Graphene has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our life together. Some applications might appear in the next few years, while others still require many years of hard work. Different applications require different quality of graphene and using the lowest quality will be the first to appear, probably in the next few years, while requiring higher grades may take even decades. ” However, given that in recent years the development of graphene (both in their manufacture and in their applications) has been explosive, “expectations rrspecto graphene continue to grow rapidly.”
To Novoselov, “graphene is a single crystal, in the sense that, by itself, has usurped a number of superior properties, both mechanical and electronic. Which suggests that lends itself fully to the development of new applications, developed specifically for this material, instead of using it as a substitute for other materials in existing applications. ” “One thing is certain, says the researcher, is that scientists and engineers continue to dive in the potential of the graphene and in this way, born many more ideas for new applications. ” Meanwhile, Volodya Falko, Lancaster University and coauthor of the study (which have also collaborated companies like Texas Instruments, AstraZeneca, BASF or Samsung), argues that “our work we try to improve our knowledge of engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs about the enormous potential of graphene to improve existing technologies and create new products. ”