Why Does Discussing Graphene Often Lead to Punch Ups?

There’s nothing like a fight to enliven the afternoon session of a conference, and over the years graphene has delivered this in spades. It arouses passions stronger than its fabled strength, especially when academics and companies inhabit the same space. But why can’t academics and companies just get along? I’ve witnessed other almost violent outbursts over production methods, the ability …

Why Successful Nanomaterials Companies Are Always Outliers

I’m speaking at a conference later this week Photonex,  where I’ll be repeating my mantra about never investing in materials companies. I’ve been banging on about this since the early days of nanotechnology, when buckyballs and nanotubes were the hot materials. The fashionable materials business model is tried (and for reasons that escape me) trusted and goes like this: Identify …

The Dawn of Graphene City?

We’ve been waiting for years for Manchester to create some graphene related businesses despite being the global hub for graphene research. One has finally popped up, Graphine Ltdwhich claims that “Graphene can further enhance the already excellent properties of rubber and elastomers by improving their strength, elasticity, flexibility, thermal stability, resistance to chemicals and durability. With the support of Grafine …

Graphene Membranes at The Global Water Summit

G2O’s graphene membrane technology had its first encounter with the global water industry this week at the Global Water Summit 2017, and its first real test. Fortunately the recent work at the University of Manchester using the same material, graphene oxide, had generated a huge amount of publicity while also demonstrating that G2O’s approach works. The key difference is of …

graphene lightbulb moment

The Science Behind Fake News and Fake Nanotech Products

As a UK parliamentary enquiry into fake news gets underway, members of parliament could take a few lessons from the history of nanotechnology. It isn’t just democracy under threat from made up stuff, it’s science too. Even more discomforting is the realization that scientists have been doing this for decades, and nobody really cares. Despite the off high profile case …

graphene waste water treatment

From Lead Poisoning in Flint to Landfill Reclamation, It’s All About The Cost of Treating Water

The lead poisoning scandal in Flint, Michigan, highlighted that access to safe drinking water is not just an issue in the developing world. And as Reuters reports, “while poverty remains a potent predictor of lead poisoning, the victims span the American spectrum – poor and rich, rural and urban, black and white. An examination of lead testing results across the …

graphene lightbulb moment

Technology Commercialisation – More Light than Heat?

An interesting snapshot on the commercialisation of graphene emerges from some recent evidence submitted to the UK’s Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee. Policy makers and academics have much in common, especially the ability to make extravagant promises and then conveniently forget them when it comes to delivery. In short the University of Manchester has been signing NDA’s and furiously patenting graphene …

graphene and cocktails at grafene

The Killer App For Graphene – Cocktails

It is impossible to get office space in Manchester at the moment as the place is choked with graphene spin outs from the university. There is even a new restaurant opening in the city, Grafene which is “inspired by the world’s first 2D material Graphene, first isolated at Manchester University and the focus of global scientific and research investment.” I’m …

graphene northern powerhouse

2D Materials at the Tipping Point in 2016 – World Economic Forum

WEF Top 10 Emerging Technologies The World Economic Forum (WEF) released its list of the Top Ten Emerging Technologies for 2016 today.  One of the criteria was the likelihood that 2016 represents a tipping point in the deployment of each technology. So the list includes some technologies that have been known for a number of years, but are only now …