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Graphene light bulbs brighter & 10% cheaper than LED

Credit: The National Graphene Institute, University of Manchester. Left: Konstantin Novoselov, Nobel Prize for Physics (2010) for work on graphene shows bulb to Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne UK

Graphene bulbs latest generation is just months away from availability in retail stores. These bulbs contain an LED shaped filament coated in graphene, an ultra conductive material that’s strong, durable and nano, thinner than a human hair.  Creators from the University of Manchester say they reduce energy use by 10%, last longer and are price competitive.

Graphene appears to be a wonder material 200 times stronger than steel and a million times thinner than a human hair, promising to revolutionise electronics, medicine and transportation. Now it seems that graphene is ready to debut in the commercial field of light bulb manufacturing. According to a statement from the University of Manchester, if the plans go to schedule, the bulb will go on sale late in 2015 at a competitive price (under 15 pounds, equivalent to LED).

Graphene bulb design appears to look very similar to that of traditional bulbs. Manchester University researchers and creators claim that graphene conducts electricity and heat more efficiently, improving performance by up to 10%, making it more durable and will also be cheaper to manufacture than conventional LED. U.K. company Graphene Lighting PLC, a registered off-shoot of Manchester University,  has responsibilty for manufacture and marketing of bulbs at less than 15 pounds (20 euros) in price.

According to Professor Colin Bailey, Vice Chancellor of the university said in a statement to the BBC : “The graphene light bulb will use less energy. We expect it to last longer. “He also said that compared with traditional LED lamps “The manufacturing costs are lower and it uses more and more sustainable components.”

Bombillas- graphene-LED-University of Manchester - Bulb graphene
illustration of graphene structure, made of a lattice-shaped honeycomb composed of carbon atoms

What is graphene?

Graphene is a single atomic layer of carbon atoms bonded in a hexagonal lattice.

Not only does it promise to revolutionise semiconductors, sensors and displays, it could also lead to advances in fundamental research in quantum physics.

Scientists believe it could one day be used to create transparent conductive materials, biomedical sensors and even extremely lightweight aircraft in the future.

Like other important nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene is incredibly strong, about 200 times stronger than structural steel.

Potential commercial applications of graphene

This bulb graphene is the first commercial application of graphene emerging from the National Institute of Graphene UK (NGI) with a budget of £ 61 millon, inaugurated by Chancellor George Osborne in Manchester last week.

This fantastic material was isolated by university researchers Sir Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, thus earning win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.

Now more than 200 researchers are studying the material in Manchester to unlock the business potential. Although this material is difficult to produce in large quantities, graphene may one day lead to lighter and more efficient forms of transport. In the short term, it could lead to smartphones, laptops and wearables like smartwatches that are thinner, lighter, stronger and more efficient, recharging much faster than they do today.

Medical researchers are also excited because graphene could be used to create devices and nanotechnology elements that could one day offer better treatments for cancer. Another potential application would be creation of filtration systems converting seawater into drinking water.

According to Professor Bailey, ‘This bulb shows that graphene products are becoming a reality, just a little over a decade after it was first isolated – a very short time in scientific terms. And this is just the beginning. Our partners are investigating a wide range of interesting applications, all of which began here in Manchester. “

More than 35 companies are now associated with the university to incorporate graphene products. Head is just one example of a company using graphene in tennis rackets.

Read the complete article here from Smart Lighting

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