A team of scientists have managed to make a light bulb so small that it is just one atom thick. Despite the fact that it can not be seen with the naked eye, amazingly the light that it creates can. Graphene was discovered in 2004 by two Russian scientists studying at the University of Manchester and the material has been heralded as a game changer for all kinds of technology. It’s light weight, has exceptional strength and has ability to conduct electricity meaning it can be applied to all sorts of uses.
Professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University James Hone, said: “We’ve created what is essentially the world’s thinnest light bulb. This new type of ‘broadband’ light emitter can be integrated into chips and will pave the way towards the realisation of atomically thin, flexible and transparent displays, and graphene-based on-chip optical communications.”
The scientists managed to turn the material into a light bulb by passing a current through it. The tiny filament heated up to around 2500 degrees centigrade. It lit up and was visible to the naked despite being created at the atomic level.
The idea of using carbon for a light bulb filament made from Carbon based material is nothing new. In fact Thomas Edison originally used carbon as a filament for his first light bulbs, however his filaments were more than 1 atom thick. It is believed that a new generation of Graphene based light bulbs could reduce energy bills by around 10% and help us reduce our UK energy consumption. Many electricians have recently seen a huge shift in demand from traditional and energy saving lightbulbs to LED lighting which is already driving down UK energy consumption. It seems that a new rival to these products could be on the market pretty soon too.
Essentially the range of Graphene applications seems almost limitless especially in electrical and computing fields. It is quoted as being the most conductive material known to man and it is now being developed by scientists in South Korea to make a new generation of super batteries. They have done this by creating Graphene pom pom’s which have a greater surface area allowing it to be used to conduct electricity.
We think we will be seeing much more about this so called super material in coming years and months. Watch this space for more.