Well if any material could hide Superman's moustache, it would be Graphene...
(other than Silicon of course, via CGI)
Maybe it's not what former UK chancellor George Osborne expected when, in 2011, he confirmed £50m in government funding to take the discovery of graphene from the "British laboratory to the British factory floor", but the much-hyped super-material is making its way to market as a cosmetic face mask. Brit advanced materials …
I’m 54 and all my life Nuclear Fusion has been 50 years away. The problem with graphene is how to reliably manufacture large enough sheets without breaking them. If for eg you look at the size of the wafer chip sheets they print silicon chips on for graphene to be used it will have to the size of those wafer sheets.
Otherwise the chip manufacturers will have to retool to produce chips single again. Which will mean supply will be greatly limited.
I remember when carbon fibre was the next most wonderful material which was going to transform the world. We were going to live in carbon fibre houses, drive carbon fibre cars and wear carbon fibre clothes. Sure it is now in more places than it used to be but it is still not exactly universal.
You want a Carbon fibre car? No problem, McLaren or Lamborghini will be happy to help which is of course the problem, Carbon fibre is still expensive to produce and hard to work with and that's not likely change significantly in the near future.
It has revolutionised racing bicycles and is gaining a foothold in many high performance applications.
Carbon fibre for houses is an amazingly bad idea, the stuff burns and is very light, nobody wants a house that will take off and blow away in a mild breeze.
As for Fusion being perennially 50 years away, it does seem to be coming down slowly, not much but I've heard estimates of 20 to 30 years away and the current research does look promising.
Nuclear fusion is only about 8 minutes away.
Carbon fiber is widely used, and has penetrated various markets at rates that seem plausible to me, given basic economics. I don't see how that example supports your premise, particularly in areas such as home construction, which tend to be very conservative and largely driven by regulation. We've had concrete homes, rammed-earth homes, Earthships, steel-framed conventional homes, manufactured-and-assembled-on-site homes, etc for decades, but on-site stick framing is still dominant here in the US. Why? Economies of scale, for materials and for expertise; and familiarity.
I'm not surprised. I suspect the chief benefit will be that the products can now be marketed as containing graphene. Given that the amount of pseudoscience in cosmetics advertising seems to encourage the unthinking to buy more this can only be a win for the producers.
Jake, you missed out gluten free, in Spain that us advertised on everything from certain cookies to condoms.
The fact is graphene is in a similar position to that of lasers 60 years ago, a solution to as yet un asked questions. Graphene holds the promise of many things but it's relevant research that will enable it to come good on the promise.
There is little point in doing the research given that almost any use of graphene has been patented and even if you could make the stuff in noticeable quantities you wouldn't make a penny out of it.
Having said that I am training bacteria to make sheets of it an atom at a time and by the time all the patents run out it should be about ready for production.
The fact is graphene is in a similar position to that of lasers 60 years ago
Thats similar to lithium-ion batteries. First demonstrated in 1977, first sold by Sony in 1991, the first device I bought that I know for sure had one in it was a Motorola cellphone, which I bought in 2001. Somewhat later I bought a Compaq iPAD (remember them?) - it used a single, large Lithium-ion cell and was first sold in 2001. Both devices first appeared in the market 24 years after the rechargeable Lithium-ion battery was first demonstrated.
Everything else I owned before then and which ran on rechargeable batteries used NiCd or lead-acid cells.
@Martin Gregorie: "Compaq iPAD"
Freudian slip there bub, "iPaq" : -)
Yeah, I had one, well two, I had the colour one, and I got that hooked up to my Nokia 5110 via a Psion gold card modem, so I could access my emails while I was on the train, and then I had the thinner monochrome one, and used the IR interface on my Nokia 7110.
@GruntyMcPugh: No need for a modem. iPAQs were damn useful around 2001. Laptops were bloody expensive, so business trips - any trips, really - involved an iPAQ and a Nokia phone. Turn the IR on both to face each other, the phone serves as a modem, the iPAQ receives and sends email. It was quite affordable back then, too - the telcos hadn't figured out how to fleece the traveling populations yet.
A foldable keyboard made it almost a laptop.
And IIRC at least some iPAQs had cameras which made them very handy to take pictures of whiteboards in business meetings.
I remember thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice if this thing could also make calls...."
@T F. M. Reader
My first setup needed the Psion Gold Card modem, 'cos my old Nokia 5110 didn't have IR. The modem was a CF card that sat in the top slot. It came with an adapter so it could be used in a PCMCIA slot also. My laptop didn't have a built in modem so this came in quite handy.
Then I got a 7110 with IR and downsized the Ipaq to the monochrome model, and it was about half as thick, but yeah, I was thinking the same thoughts about the two merging into one device. My first smartphone was an Orange SPV M2000 (Qtek 9090), which was very similar in looks to the first colour Ipaq I had. I could web browse, make calls, and I had a curated music collection on several SD cards for my commutes.
... Graphene is shown to cause cancer in lab animals.
It is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, after all ... Not all that certain I'd want my Wife spreading it liberally about her person until after several dozen years of the "gotta have it now" crowd beta testing it for the rest of us.
Graphene tends to lack the hydrogen component that's somewhat typical of hydrocarbons. Also, I believe small flakes of graphene shear off graphite (i.e. pencil lead) all the time, so if it was detrimental to your health I'm inclined to think we'd have found out by now.
Veritasium did a video on Youtube on how you can get small graphene flakes with just a pencil and sellotape. The tricky part seems to be making big sheets of the stuff.
I didn't say it was a typical hydrocarbon. I said it was a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Which it very definitely is.
Also, perhaps mass use of pencils is a cause of the huge uptick in cancers seen world-wide? Kids put those things in their mouths! Maybe the de facto ban on literacy in schools brought about by fondle-slabs and so-called smart phones is actually a good thing?
(For the humo(u)r impaired, I'm joking. Mostly.)
Well, there's Catholic mass...
I believe that because of Covid-19 virus, local churches are now stopping putting the body of Christ in worshippers' mouths as has been usually done, and handing it to you instead. Possibly with gloves.
I heard about an atheist in America who sneaked in once and by legerdemain took the body of Christ home with him. People were ever so cross about that. I think violence was threatened but I don't firmly recall.
jake, I think you uncovered the key for eternal life. If it was possible to prevent kids from putting stuff in their mouths.
Now if only we could stop a certain class of male from inserting appendages in Vacuum Cleaner nozzles, we'd have a more thoughtful race from the cradle to the casualty bed.
inorder to be aromatic, it need to to have dis-associated rings as per benzene, toluene and the xylenes. in-order to be a hydrocarbon it needs Hydrogen, and it has no unicyclyic loops let alone any polycyclic ones.
Graphene is pure carbon tightly bound in sheets more akin to flat Buckminsterfullerene
It is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, after all ...
No, it is not. Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms, organized in a hexagonal lattice that forms a two-dimensional sheet. It is 100% carbon, so cannot be described as an aromatic hydrocarbon.
- ex-chemist, who wrote his MSc thesis on graphite intercalation compounds.
Intercalation compounds are graphite structures with a layer of an inorganic compound, e.g. Ferric chloride, FeCl3, in between adjacent sheets of carbon. We'd now call those sheets graphene, but that word wasn't used until Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov peeled those carbon layers apart and decsribed them in 2004.
Did a bit of digging out of curiosity.
"These sheet masks are face-shaped sheet fabrics which utilise the thermal and electrical conductivity of graphene to help the skin absorb its contents through bioelectric currents."
That sounds like something Gwyneth Paltrow would say.
Then we get to the real rub of the green,
Keith Broadbent, Haydale CEO, said: "Following significant research and development, it is great to see a graphene-based product launched for the health and beauty sector. Working alongside iCraft, we anticipate a number of graphene enhanced products will now be launched both in the cosmetic market and in the wider fight against counterfeit goods."
I'm guessing from that they are going to use graphene as some kind of identifier on products and as it is difficult to reproduce it will help to identify counterfeit goods (for now).
Absolutely. The sentence is exactly as nebulous and empty as it needs to be while still making the clueless believe that there is meaning in it.
So, your beauty products have graphene ? I'm thrilled, but do they have Bucky balls ? No ? I need the additional bounce of Bucky balls.
Sarcasm aside, chalk up another CEO and entire company on my black list. He is clearly just in it for the money, and it is impossible for me to imagine that anybody in that company is not in the same mindset.
Loads of people aren't just in it for the money. That doesn't mean they don't like money - but does mean that they like other things.
For example my Dad set up his own business. When he was already a national sales manager for a decent sized company, with prospects of eventually directorship. Or going somewhere else. He took a large pay cut to do it, and I very much doubt he made any more money from his very successful business, than if he'd stayed employed - I suspect he'd have made MD somewhere.
The difference was that he was working for himself, he was in charge, and he got to call the shots. The work was no easier, but there was probably more of the engineering and relationship building stuff he enjoyed and less of the management he didn't.
And I know quite a few other people who've done similar. They are driven by money, they want to have more than enough of it and they like spending it. But they also like the challenge. And they want their company to match their personality - my company work for several very nerdy companies set up by very enthusiastic engineers with great ideas.
I remember reading a few times about salary negotiations in Formula 1. Where the salaries for the top guys go up, not because they're massively greedy, but because they want to prove they're the best. And you prove you're the best by winning - but also do that by making sure you get paid more than anyone else - thus proving that the people within the sport also think you're the best. It's more of a dominance game, who can piss the highest, than greed.
Likewise with the super-rich. Almost literally impossible to spend all the money they have, so money simply becomes another scoreboard in the Billionaires' Dick-Swinging Contest, alongside the larger-than-yours mega-motorboats (which most certainly are not yachts), ultra-short-run hypercars and all the rest of the monstrously vulgar geegaws they acquire in place of friends.
I read it as Haydale has graphene but it doesn't yet have the cutting edge customers/applications that the investors were promised would deliver megabucks. The investors want to see ROI/repayment of credit. iCraft needs something techy for its bullshit cosmetics.
Haydale stays afloat while the genuine tech & engineering applications follow their slow journey along the Gartner hype cycle, and the people it employs keep their jobs.
That's your synergy, right there.
A boss many years ago defined Synergies in a meeting for us. He said it's a word used in press releases especially after a merger. It refers to job losses that are a short way off and caused by the merger. "Immediate cost savings" refers to imminent mass sackings. When the firm merged with a rival both words were used in abundance.
"How exactly is this going "help in the fight against counterfeit goods"? Are your normal ebay-buying punters going to somehow tell that this facemask has genuine graphene whereas that one is merely clingwrap?"
If you can roll it up into a tube and write with it, then it contains graphene. Simples!
I thought that one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, and that hasn't been remotely addressed yet, is how to manufacture it industrially at a large scale and consistently. maybe I'm wide of the mark here but isn't graphene production still very manual-intensive and a bit hit-and-miss?
Well I am still waiting for the mythical "Room Temperature Magic Angle" material.
I had to resort to making my own version using HEAs, writing up the paper now.
Alas mine still won't work at a range of temperatures but if anyone wants a copy
of the paper as it stands please message me.
Also it appears that though Pb doped graphene does have "interesting" properties
it won't work properly due to Fermil level inconsistencies. I did try but its just not
stable enough for large scale applications.
Its a remarkable thing to see a 10:1 resistance drop in any material but to see it
with something so simple.
I've went to an IMechEng lecture a couple of years ago by a researcher from the Manchester Uni. graphene institute that's partly funded by the government grant. Things might have moved on since then, but the main problem seemed to be that as soon as it's more than a few dozen or so molecules thick it stops being graphene and becomes more like graphite. The poor lad giving the lecture got quite a hard time during the questioning (there were lots of materials engineers there) and in the end fessed up that a lot of the current "grapene technology" being touted was little different from the graphite squash racket type applications from the 90s. One of the engineers in the audience also asked (a bit unfairly) why all the government money was being put into graphene when there were other single-layer type materials not based on carbon with similar properties that might better lend themselves to industrialization.
The main thing I took away from the lecture was that those Mech Eng types are a lot more aggressive than us electronics engineers. The poor researcher must have had a miserable trip back to Manchester.
He must have been quite relieved to be on his way to Manchester and not still being grilled by maniacs.
A bit unfairly ? I think it is quite unfair to ask an engineer why the Government is doing something. That smacks of gratuitous put-down and I would have thought that there would be a smidgen of enough intelligence in a room full of Engineers to avoid that kind of pettiness.
Goes to show that education and intelligence are still two different things.
I disagree fundamentally.
The problem is that researchers nowadays are not only giving "straight bat" presentations of their research work and its results. They are also instructed - and this really is an instruction and part of their KPIs - to be active in outreach and advocacy. The rules of that game - again being set by the higher-ups - are not those of peer reviewed science. They are of unmitigated hype, lying by ommission, etc.
I would guess a lecture to an audience outside of the specialistion falls into this catagory, and hard-nosed questioning is *exactly* what is appropriate.
Manufacturing of graphite will require something far better at doing chemicals than we are and will probably be down to bacteria or even a virus that has been mutated to simply add carbon atoms at the edge of a sheet of graphene. Once we have sheets of graphene we may be able to put layers of them together and then we may have something beautiful to play with. All the modern chemical/thermal attempts will be hamstrung by thermal noise and sheets will always join together at the wrong place producing posh soot which Paltrow may push where the sun dont shine.
On thing I like the idea of is graphene cones which could be used to make cold thermionic valves allowing cheap high voltage amps making electrostatic sound walls a cheap quality replacement for those fucking mp3 players for deaf bats.
"pointed out that trillions of dollars had been invested in semiconductor technology since the first device in 1947. To expect broad application of graphene in commercial products in the time since it was first discovered, in 2004, is unrealistic, the paper said."
What does being realistic have anything to do with investment these days. Products and profit are wanted yesterday, if they can't be then screw it, no money for you. But will pour money into companies that actually have nothing, with the hope it will be bought by another.
Only a few people these days look at the long term view. Most things that don't return quickly are dumped, investors want it...
Agreed. I can't see the relevance of these other technologies mentioned. Just because it took X years to go from, say Silicon to the chip doesn't infer that some use of a new material will also take X years. Also the "chip" use of silicon is a bit random. What about the time it took from the discovery of silicon to, say, silicon pot-holders? Or some other random use? How many years did it take from the discovery of rubber to develop the rubber ball?
You could call it a polymer. It'll burn or oxidise, I would imagine.
It's just a flat sheet of carbon atoms in a hexagonal lattice arrangement.
Carbon dioxide is oxidized carbon, and a gas. I suppose carbon monoxide is possible. A more dangerous gas to breathe. It should oxidise to give you carbon dioxide... maybe eventually?
Recommended by the Independent this Tuesday just gone.
Also, I invested in two graphene using companies when it first became well known.
On AIM some years ago now.
One of them was blindingly successful and got bought out within a year or two, over 100% gain, thanks very much.
The second, doing oil filtration products in SE Asia, has been in my dog basket for just about as long.
I came up with an idea for a graphene based quantum device, the problem is that its at least 10 years away.
Alas to make it work would need femtoscale engineering, in the form of making specific isotopes of carbon and then turning that into methane, depositing the graphene on a substrate and then using lasers to "fuse" individual atoms of lead into specified locations.
Incidentally I came up with the idea of fusing cheap (small) pyrolytic graphite sheets together using a pulsed 445nm laser M140 1.6W with glass 3 element lens, RF HV discharge and pressure under argon to make a larger monolithic sheet.
I wonder if there is anything like this in the literature because some searches revealed very little data.
The "secret sauce" is using a pulse transformer from a £9 plasma lighter to generate a radio frequency discharge along the sheet that causes the adjoining surfaces to fuse, similar to the slow process that generates pyrolytic graphite in the first place, with the laser scanning along each axis sequentially.
Its possible to use this process to make HTSCs as well by the "Direct" method with metal carbonates and oxides so BSCCO is incredibly simple.
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