THE TIMES: Applied Graphene Materials is set to break out of the slow lane

Press/Media: Research

Release date: 16/4/2018


Remember graphene, the “wonder material” tougher than diamond, more conductive than copper and more flexible than rubber? It’s 14 years since it was discovered, yet the average person is much more likely to have been targeted for investment scams related to the material than they are to have encountered anything actually containing it. So much for an innovation that was tipped to be as ubiquitous as plastic.

Yet graphene has not gone away. The hype that peaked when its discoverers received a Nobel prize eight years ago has dissipated, but Applied Graphene Materials, one of the small companies still hoping to make a fortune from the innovation, is confident that its patience will be a virtue. It also can point to evidence that it may be on the cusp of a commercial breakthrough — several, in fact.

Media contributions

TitleApplied Graphene Materials is set to break out of the slow lane
Media name/outletThe Times
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
DescriptionOne early application of graphene is in the form of sporting goods, winning the approval of Andy Murray and other tennis players who have endorsed rackets containing the “wonder material” (James Hurley writes). James Baker, chief executive of Manchester University’s graphene unit, isn’t ready, though, to comment on whether graphene is already a game-changer in the sport.

Indeed, he feels that some of the early applications have been little more than marketing exercises and that the real breakthrough is yet to come. “It’s only been 14 years since graphene was isolated in Manchester. Why do I say only? If you look at carbon fibre and silicon, it was probably 25 or 30 years before you saw the first products.” More than that, he says that graphene is actually doing rather well. Paints, pipes, rubber and composites have been bolstered with graphene to improve performance.
PersonsJames Baker, Andre Geim, Konstantin Novoselov