Graphene might be the world's most useful material. It's pure carbon in the form of a very thin, nearly transparent sheet, one atom thick.
First produced in a lab in 2003, Graphene is remarkably strong for its very low weight, 100 times stronger than steel and a very efficient conductor of heat and electricity.
Why are people so excited about Graphene? It might spawn a tech revolution that could actually change the world.
Here are 5 groundbreaking ways the supermaterial might be used in the near future.
1) Creating Fuel From Air
The researchers who won the Nobel Prize for isolating graphene, have recently shown that graphene could be used to make mobile electric generators powered by hydrogen extracted from the air.
"Essentially, you pump your fuel from the atmosphere and get electricity out of it," researcher Andre Geim said.
2) Thermal Infrared Vision
"If we integrate it with a contact lens or other wearable electronics, it expands your vision," said Zhaohui Zhong, one of the researchers developing the technology. "It provides you another way of interacting with your environment."
3) Lightest And Thinnest Devices
Graphene is thin enough to stretch over 28 football fields and might someday be used to create foldable, paper-thin smartphones and tablets.
4) Creating Drinkable Ocean Water
MIT researchers have found "that the water permeability of this material is several orders of magnitude higher than conventional reverse osmosis membranes, and that nanoporous graphene may have a valuable role to play for water purification." Whew! What does that mean exactly? Membranes made from graphene could be made that are big enough to let water through, but small enough to filter out the salt.
5) Bionic Humans
Steve Austin might become a reality!Graphene research is now leading to experiments where electronics can integrate with your biological systems. Doctors could monitor your body better to diagnose and adjust biological systems