Nanometers from the future

The (Super) Supercapacitor

Graphene, a two-dimensional crystalline allotrope of carbon (stick with us), has numerous applications in everything from medical devices to the paper-thin, bendable screens that have been popping up in sci-fi movies over the past decade. The material possesses so much potential that the EU recently earmarked a whopping €1 billion for applicational research. Think of how plastic revolutionized the 20th century — graphene should do the same for the 21st.

In the past, researchers working with graphene faced incredibly high production costs — somewhere in the range of $100,000,000 per cubic centimer. The price isn’t particularly surprising, considering that the leading method involved hand-peeling layers of graphite with scotch tape and placing it on silicone wafers. In this video, Ric Kaner, a chemist at UCLA, explains how he set out to find a better production method… and ended up making a discovery that could change the way we interact with electronics.