Investing in Graphene?
Hardly a day goes by without a new clutch of stories about how graphene is going to change the world. Companies such as Apple, Samsung, IBM, Hyundai, Toyota, Nokia, Airbus, Repsol, Bosch and Foxconn are already showing interest in graphene applications, but before we start dreaming about applications we need to get to grips with producing it.
The early days of nanotechnology were characterised by a huge degree of hype with many experts claiming the advent of a new industrial revolution, with the ability to replace all manufacturing within five years, while still others were already hatching plans for space elevators and Star Trek style replicators.
Producing Graphene Is The Easy Part
With nanotechnology, those overlooked steps involved scaling up the production of nanomaterials and incorporating them into systems that were of some use in the real world. Graphene today faces very similar challenges.
But just as all nanomaterials are not equal, the term ‘graphene’ is currently used to refer to a wide range of materials, ranging from highly ordered monolayers grown by CVD to crudely separated graphite. Each of these types of material has its own strengths and weaknesses, and has separate sets of potential applications in the commercial world.
The Graphene Opportunity Report
The Graphene Opportunity Report from Cientifica examines the real graphene landscape examines the claims being made for graphene, and taking the rational approach for which Cientifica is known, considers how valid these are and evaluates the chances of success.
We also look in detail at the graphene producers. Graphene comes in a wide range of forms, each with its own particular set of addressable applications. No one producer covers all applications and many are destined to be niche players. As with nanomaterials, many companies currently producing graphene are destined to burn brightly and then be unceremoniously snuffed out when scale up or access to applications fails to materialise.
As with all Cientifica reports, we look beyond the hype and take a rational and dispassionate look at the entire graphene value chain, from graphite to THz electronics. There will be long-term winners, and we indicate what strategies are required to join this small elite band, and we provide a wealth of lessons from our previous experience in nanotechnologies and life sciences.
Most importantly, we look beyond the narrow graphene or nanotechnology worlds and assess graphene’s chances of success in competing with a wide range of other technologies, many of which have not been considered by those concentrating solely on graphene.
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