Are you looking for a new investment that hasn’t been widely discovered yet so you can get a head start on the returns? If so, graphene is the way to go.
Graphene is the strongest material around right now, and many industries that once used carbon nanotubes are turning to this “miracle material” instead. The material is a sheet of carbon only one atom thick, and it has better electrical and thermal conductivity, mechanical strength, and more optical purity than anything else.
And it can be used to make stronger composite material. Researchers at the Korean Advance Institute of Science and Technology recently created a composite material that is 500 times stronger than raw material, made of only .00004% graphene, Extreme Tech reports.
The list of applications for this super material is huge. Manufacturers are using it in electronics to make transistors, computer displays, lasers, photodetectors, and batteries. It’s also used in aircraft wings, biomedical equipment, drug delivery, and tissue engineering.
Companies Seek Patents
Head (OTC: HEDYY), an Austrian sport equipment manufacturer, has used it to make tennis rackets that can give players a completely new way to play the sport. The graphene makes the shaft stronger, and it increases maneuverability by distributing the tip and grip of the racket evenly, according to the Financial Times.
Recently, Rice University researchers have found a way to add boron atoms to graphene, which could be used in lithium-ion batteries. These anodes can charge batteries faster and give them more lasting energy, which is of particular interest to the electric car industry.
Kia and Hyundai have their eyes on the technology with a patent already in place, as they will likely want to use these batteries in electric cars if they prove to be effective.
Rice University has also come out with a battery that can recharge in 20 seconds, holding its charging power well over 1000 cycles. The graphene is mixed with vanadium oxide, which is good news because this material can be produced for a relatively low cost, especially in large quantities.
There applications for graphene are so numerous it would be impossible to identify them all here. But it’s evident that there is a high demand for the material.
Due to its demand, governments around the globe want a piece of the revolution. Many are financially supporting the research and the use of it – like Britain, which has already given 60 million euros for research.
In addition, research centers popping up. Manchester University recently announced it will be constructing the world’s leading center of graphene research with its National Graphene Institute. It should be completed by 2015.
Cambridge University is also designing a research center, for which it has raised 30 million euros.
While research is still being done on the material, there are companies already making and selling it to keep up with the demand. Graphene Industries is one of these, run by Manchester University. The company sells single-crystal graphene flakes to big companies such as IBM (NYSE: IBM).
Lux Research reports that the graphene industry is already growing at an alarming rate. They project that the industry will reach a $126m one by 2020.
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Graphene has taken the world by storm, and it’s not showing any sign of slowing down. Researchers are working hard to find as many applications as possible for the “miracle material.”
To get a slice of the graphene pie, you can invest in it. It’s not that easy, since it’s a new material, and the larger companies are privately held. But you can invest in companies that are going to use the material or have included themselves in graphene research, such as Samsung (KSE: 005930), Sony (NYSE: SNE), and IBM.
You can also invest in graphene mines. Reserves are mostly in China, but there some resources in Canada, Romania, Brazil, and India.
Focus Graphite (OTC: FCSMF) – This mine and technology developer has the best equipment right now. It’s working with the graphene research company Grafoid.
American Graphite Technologies (OTC: AGIN) – This mineral exploration company owns 100 mineral claims. It recently partnered up with CTI Nanotechnologies LLC.
Sometimes successful investing means jumping on the train at the beginning of the ride and waiting for it to take off. That’s what you can do with graphene. The applications are already amazing, and as more research is done, more companies will want to start using it. This will increase its demand and price, which means higher returns for you.
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