Just over 15 years since a couple of researchers in the U.K. used adhesive tape to isolate single atomic layers of carbon, known as graphene, from a chunk of graphite, their Nobel Prize-winning discovery has fueled a revolution in ultrathin materials R&D.
Graphene and other atomically thin "2-D" materials exhibit exotic properties that researchers hope to tap into for a range of applications—from tinier transistors packed into more powerful and compact computer processors, to smaller and more precise sensors, flexible digital displays, and a new wave of quantum computers.
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have helped to advance this research into ultrathin materials on a number of fronts, enlisting specialized tools and techniques to make them and to study their structure and properties at the nanoscale and atomic scale.
Now a California-based company called GraphAudio (https://www.graphaudio.com/) is moving toward commercializing graphene-based audio technology developed by researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley in an effort to stimulate an audio revolution.
Ramesh Ramchandani, GraphAudio CEO, said the company's goal is to use the licensed technology to manufacture graphene components that other companies incorporate in their products.
He said he expects GraphAudio's technology—which could be available to consumers within one or two years—will be graphene components in earbud headphones and amplifiers that are integrated into products made by established audio-product manufacturers.
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