Think about the wonder material you

  • Published on
    15-Apr-2017

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Think about the wonder material youalways dreamed about. That's graphene.

Graphene is as strong as diamondbut as flexible as plastics.

It's less than one millionth of thethickness of a sheet of paper.

The thinnest possible, the lightest,the most conductive,

the most impermeable,the most thermally conductive.

I mean - is there anymaterial like that?

Graphene is a dream.

It's probably the biggest changein technology since silicon.

This can change our life,change our world in the future.

It's a simple material, it's just aone-atom thick layer of graphite.

You can also think about itas just carbon atoms on a plane

arranged into a hexagonal lattice.

Drawing it with a pencil makes itrealistic - it is also made of carbon.

The way we first came tographene is really simple.

I saw a colleague cleaninggraphite with his STM experiment.

He simply took scotch tape and pealedoff the top layer of graphite.

I knew about this method, it's astandard way to clean graphite.

But when you actually see it,it makes you think.

I picked up the used scotch tape withflakes of graphite from the dust bin.

And then if yousplit it in half repeatedly,

eventually you might get to a monolayerof graphite, which is graphene.

Within an hour, we had our first sample.

Graphene offers a technological edge.

Many different kinds ofproducts are being pursued.

From touch panelsto conductive paints.

Flexible batteries,flexible electronics,

EMI shielding,the transparent electrode,

different kinds of sensors,solar cells, batteries.

You can do thingslike desalinate seawater.

You can separate carbondioxide from nitrogen.

That is a great advantagein combating carbon dioxide emissions.

It's very difficult to predictwhere the key impact is going to be.

You have to think about it as a processrather than a table carved in stone.

Governments, companies and universitieshave realized the potential of graphene.

And a lot of resourcesare being invested.

More and more large companieslike Samsung or Nokia or Apple

are interested in using graphenefor their future devices.

So now the issue is the investment,

and then we need to findthe killer application.

One application can open all the doors

to the real application of graphene.

There is competition, it's pretty big.

We have to move quickly.

Our research is part of that race.

The European countriesare very advanced in basic science.

But the manufacturing industryis very advanced in Korea.

In some ways, we can learn from others.

Their ideas like this one,"Aha, I missed that."

I kind of like that.

I think it's about timeto make this graphene work.

It's our duty to make it be thewonder material, the miracle material.

We have to aim high.

Dreaming is good.

But if you dream too high,it's also a problem.

It has potential, but wehaven't shown anything yet.

We have been working on the nanoworldfor many years, many decades.

I haven't seen any productthat is actually sold worldwide.

We didn't make billions of dollars ortrillions of dollars from nanomaterial.

We really want to see actual things.

And graphene is actuallya good candidate

from my point of view,from an industry point of view.

It has better processabilitythan other nanomaterials.

But we haven't shown anything yet.

Any new technologyrequires a lot of work.

The variety of different challengesis probably the beauty of this topic.

Research is pursuit of new things.

When pursuing new things, you neverknow what you will find along the way.

There's another wonder of graphene,that it has basically opened a floodgate

for other materialsto be discovered and studied.

Those two-dimensional crystals behavedifferently from their 3D precursors.

You can create stacks of those,and basically create a material

that is not given by naturein the usual way.

We are walking along a waythat nobody has walked before.

There's a goal, so we are tryingto go in that direction.

Then sometimes we finda better shortcut.

Then maybe a different material.

Or a different method, or a differentgoal, a better one, or a closer one.

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