Graphene is shap­ing na­tion’s high-tech dreams

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By XIECHUAN­JIAO and LYUCHANG in Qing­dao, Shan­dong

China is now the global leader in patents and pub­li­ca­tions re­lated to car­bon nan­otubes and graphene re­search and manufacturing, ac­count­ing for about 47 per­cent of the to­tal patents, the Na­tional Phys­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory in the United King­dom said on Wed­nes­day.

But ex­perts warned that an over­sup­ply in low­er­grade graphene may oc­cur in the near fu­ture as a re­sult of ag­gres­sive ca­pac­ity ex­pan­sion in the coun­try.

Car­bon nan­otubes are tubu­lar cylin­ders of car­bon atoms that have ex­tra­or­di­nary me­chan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal, ther­mal, op­ti­cal and chem­i­cal prop­er­ties. Graphene is the thinnest and strong­est sub­stance known to mankind and is a car­bon de­riv­a­tive.

Ivan Buckley, graphene project man­ager at the Na­tional Graphene In­sti­tute of the Univer­sity of Manch­ester, said China needs to be cau­tious on the ex­ces­sive pro­duc­tion of lower-grade graphene prod­ucts, which gen­er­ally do not have the same qual­ity as higher-grade ones in terms of con­duc­tiv­ity.

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