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New Chinese graphene smartphones boost battery life by 50%

Tue 3 Mar 2015

The first graphene phones have been unveiled today by two Chinese firms, Moxi and Galapad. The smartphones feature touch screens, batteries and thermal conduction, all of which incorporate the recently isolated ‘wonder’ material known for its extraordinary electrical conductivity, and strong chemical and mechanical properties.

30,000 graphene phones, which will use the Android system, were put on sale on Monday by Moxi and Galapad, in the Chongqing municipality in southwest China, for 2,499 yuan each (approx. £260).

The graphene technology was developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and is thought to make the touch screens more sensitive and prolong battery life by at least 50%.

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice which scientists have raced to research and develop since it was first isolated in 2004 by a team led by Nobel Prize winner Kostya Novoselov. “It will serve as one of the keystones in supporting science, technology and innovation,” said Novoselov, suggesting potential applications such as smart food packaging, bendable devices, and drugs which can target specific cells.

In July 2014, IBM announced a substantial investment in graphene manufacturing research with a $3bn project looking at graphene semiconductor technology. UK chancellor George Osborne also pushed the importance of the research with the launch of a new £60 million Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) in September last year, to work in collaboration with the existing National Graphene Institute (NGI) at the University of Manchester.

“Graphene is potentially a game-changer – its properties make it one of the most important commercial scientific breakthroughs in recent memory,” said Osborne.

China is currently the world leader in the mass production of graphene films for both phone and computer touch screens. In 2013, the first mass production line for the manufacture of tens of millions of graphene films per year went into operation in Chongqing.


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