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Riding the Graphene Wave

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 31 December 2013

Gerry Northam looks at its move from the lab to the commercial world. Construction work is underway to build a world-class laboratory at Manchester University - at the cost of £61 million - but the National Graphene Institute aims to be the world's leading centre of graphene research and commercialisation.

Graphene is super-strong and super-conductive – it's often called a 'wonder material' and it was invented in Manchester by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, who won a Nobel prize for their work. The city takes great pride in the discovery, seeing a direct line of descent from its legacy of industrial invention and has awarded the two scientists the freedom of the city in recognition of their work.

In Riding the Graphene Wave, Gerry Northam finds out how the the UK is competing in the global market as Korea, China and the USA pour money into the patenting and commercialisation of Manchester's magic material. What will it take for graphene to move out of the laboratory and into the commercial world?

Investors are running the numbers to work out which applications are most ready for go-to-market products, and which countries are making fastest progress in finding ways to manufacturer graphene. Can graphene to give the UK a significant role in 21st century global economy?

Picture: Graphene sheet, Credit: Science Photo Library


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