Graphene Light Bulb to Hit Shelves
The first consumer product made from graphene is set to go on sale within the next couple of months – light bulbs!
Graphene is a super-strong carbon material, a micro-thin layer of which is said to be stronger than steel.
The material was discovered by Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at Manchester University, which later led to them both being knighted and receiving the Physics Nobel Prize.
The University of Manchester also opened the National Graphene Institute (NGI) earlier this month, with more than 200 researchers working on graphene.
The NGI was awarded £38 million from the government through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as well as a further £23 million from the European Regional Development Fund. Everyone is fully aware of the potential of this amazing material!
And because of the unrivalled amount of graphene the University has at its disposal, more than 35 companies from around the world have partnered up with them to develop projects.
However, making graphene in large quantities is still incredibly expensive at the moment, but the new dimmable light bulb only uses a small quantity to cover the coat a filament-shaped LED inside.
Professor Colin Bailey is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University, and one of the directors of Graphene Lighting, the company that the light bulb was developed in partnership with.
According to Professor Bailey, the graphene light bulb is based on the traditional light bulb design but will use up to 10% less energy. It will also last longer before it needs replacing, with the graphene allowing the filament to conduct heat and electricity more efficiently. Even manufacturing costs compared to other LED light bulbs are lower, and the components are more sustainable.
“This light bulb shows that graphene products are becoming a reality,” the professor added. “Just a little more than a decade after [graphene] was first isolated – a very short time in scientific terms.”
The graphene light bulb is expected to be cheaper than other LED bulbs currently on the market, which can cost around £15 each.
The University and its partners are now looking into other practical and commercial uses for the material, such as frames for cars and aircraft, working side by side on the graphene products of the future.
“This is just the start,” said Professor Bailey. “It is very exciting that the NGI has launched its first product despite barely opening its doors yet.”
James Baker, Business Director for the NGI, explained how the new light bulb was proof that partnering with the Institute could lead to delivering products that could be used by millions of people.
“This shows how the University of Manchester is leading the way,” he added, “not only in world-class graphene research, but in commercialism as well.”