A graphene light bulb, the first commercial product to be made from the “miracle material”, is to go on sale later this year.
The dimmable bulb is expected to cut energy costs by 10 per cent and last for years, thanks to the material’s super conductivity, but still cost the same or less than current LEDs.
Its filament will be coated in graphene, which is 200 times stronger than steel but one million times thinner than a human hair.
The bulb is being developed by Graphene Lighting, a company with links to Manchester University, where the one-atom thick material was developed.
Professor Colin Bailey is deputy vice-chancellor at Manchester and a director of the company.
“The graphene light bulb will use less energy. We expect it to last longer. The manufacturing costs are lower and it uses more and more sustainable components,” he told the BBC.
Chancellor George Osborne opened the university’s National £61 million Graphene Institute last week and met Sir Kostya Novoselov, a co-discoverer of the material.
Mr Osborne said that the centre would put the UK in “pole position to lead the world in graphene technology”.
Russian scientists Sir Kostya and Sir Andre Geim first isolated graphene in Manchester in 2004 and the pair won a Nobel Prize for Physics as a result of their work.
More than 35 companies from around the world have already partnered with the university to work on graphene projects.
While it is not an easy material to produce in large quantities, a number of companies are attempting to manufacture it, as graphene has a large number of potential uses.
The tennis racquet manufacturer Head has used it in carbon fibre racquets and a company is working to use it in dental bridges.
One area that graphene could revolutionise is medicine. The rise of nanotechnology will allow it to be used in treatments for cancer and conditions such as Parkinson’s.
Graphene is also likely to transform mobile phones, cameras and wearable technology, as it is strong, durable and absorbs light as energy, which should allow for extended battery life for a range of products.
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