The future of Technology?23 May 2011 14:37:10
Is graphene a miracle material?
The material graphene was touted as "the next big thing" even before its pioneers were handed the Nobel Prize last year. Many believe it could spell the end for silicon and change the future of computers and other devices forever.
Said to be the strongest material ever measured, an improvement upon and a replacement for silicon and the most conductive material known to man, its properties have sent the science world - and subsequently the media - into a spin.
"Our research establishes graphene as the strongest material ever measured, some 200 times stronger than structural steel," mechanical engineering professor James Hone, of Columbia University, said in a statement.
"It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap [cling film]."
And the way this material can be utilised is as surprising as its properties.
"Graphene does not just have one application," says Dr Andre Geim, the current co-holder of the Nobel Prize in physics for his work with the material.