Graphene, the wonder material that’s light, strong and impressively conductive, has now been given the go ahead by British chancellor of the exchequer, with plans to commercialise the substance thanks to a £22 million investment.
While this won’t mean we’ll soon be wearing graphene shoes and hats, it could mean big things for a lot of different industries. Graphene is an atom thick construction of carbon molecules, arranged in a honeycomb pattern. This resulting material is 300 times stronger than steel, harder than diamond and yet lighter than all of them. The potential uses are near endless.
“It’s exactly what our commitment to science and a proactive industrial strategy is all about – and we’ve beaten off strong global competition,” said the chancellor (via The Guardian). “Now I am glad to announce investment that will help take it from the British laboratory to the British factory floor. This shows that even in tough times we are investing in science which is vital to helping the UK get ahead in the global race.”
While a lot of Osbourne’s messages about budgeting haven’t gone down well, his commitment to scientific research has. Many praised his interest in further developing British interests in the sciences, with graphene being one that many were keen to see further investigation into.
Graphene was isolated for the first time in 2010 by Nobel prize winners Konstantin Noboselov and Andrew Geim at the University of Manchester.
KitGuru Says: It would have been pretty remiss if the place where graphene was discovered didn’t make use of it. It first appeared on the British isles, we should be swimming in graphene by this point.