F1000 Nov 28th

Its time for a bit of fun. Its the second week of the fantasy 1000 and time to see how the initial investments of £1000/$1000 have grown or diminished. Paragon Diamonds (LSE: PRG) and CVD Equipment Corporation (NASDAQ: CVV) were the selected investment; chosen largely on whim and with very little prior research. The two companies are meant to be indicative but I whole heartedly accept that little useful information will be obtained over the duration of the fantasy investment.

So, £1000 bought a total of 3478 shares in Paragon diamonds last week. Currently trading at 27.63p, the original investment would now be worth £960 – a loss of £40. Oh well, can’t win them all.

How well did CVD Equipment Corporation perform? Well $1000 purchased 61 shares last week, and at a current trading price of $15 the initial investment has slumped to $915. Oh well, it seems you can’t win at all. At least not this week anyhow.

The Graphene Revolution.


How soon will the graphene revolution begin? How soon is now.

The graphene revolution has the potential to mimic the revolutions of previous decades and centuries; and if it does speculation in emerging companies will be considered prescient and well judged investments. One prominent economist, Norm Poire, who has studied the pattern of market innovations argues that major innovations drive the economy in an almost reglar pattern; 28 years of nascent emerging, followed by 56 years of rapid growth, and then 28 years of deceleration until 112 years after conception the innovation grows in line with population. If graphene follows this pattern it will be repeating the market trajectories of the textiles industry, the railways, automobiles and computers.

With graphene having been discovered in 2004 we are still in the earliest phase of the cycle, much is yet to come and the real price increases are still many years away if this model is accurate. However, as shown later, the stock price chart for CVD Equipment suggests that even the early stages of growth of an investment in graphene promises a fair degree of excitement, if not paroxysms of unexpurgated joy.

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Graphene foam detects explosives.

The latest piece of research conducted by  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute demonstrates the potentially life saving advances that investing in graphene may bring to the security and law enforcement sector. Reports that graphene foam outperforms the best, commercially available, gas sensors in the detection of dangerous and explosive chemicals add further support to the notion that its use in sensors will be one of the market areas in which it comes to dominate. The discovery paves the way for a whole range of improvements in the equipment used by bomb squads, law enforcement officials, defense organizations, and in various industrial settings.

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Ink-jet printing of graphene.

The scaling up of graphene transistors just became one step closer with a piece of research conducted by a team at Cambridge University. The inspiration for this advance in flexible electronics came from F. Torrisi et al in the Department of Engineering, whose work on producing a graphene based ink by liquid phase exfoliation of graphite paved the way for printing thin-film transistors and conductive patterns. The new technique reduced the number of fabrication steps in the process of production and can be used to fabricate other devices such as photovoltics, organic LED’s, and display screens. The authors of the study suggest that the process has a number of key advantages,

“Inkjet printing (of graphene) is versatile, involves a limited number of process steps, is amenable for mass production and can deposit controlled amounts of material.”

The graphene ink is combined with one of the most commonly used organic polymers for inkjet printing. The results demonstrate not only the viability of large scale production possibilities but also indicate a significant level of performance improvement on previous techniques.

The full research paper can be read here.  http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1111/1111.4970v1.pdf

Miracle Material.

Graphene is without doubt peculiarly splendid and is quickly establishing itself as the champion of materials; grabbing for itself various records in the world of physical properties.  The accolades seem to accumulate every day, with research into the substance being one of the hottest areas in materials science. But what are the most surprising of its properties. Well…

  1. Strength – Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and so robust that it would, according to Professor James Hone, take an elephant sitting on a the end of a pencil to break through a sheet of graphene no thicker than a piece of clingfilm. The substance is so strong that it is effectively possible to pick up a whole sheet of the material; which means one can grasp at and hold without breaking a sheet of carbon atoms.
  2. No Band Gap – Graphene has no band gap, the difference between a bound and unbound electron. Without a band gap an electron is able to absorb electrons at all frequencies, making the substance ideal for highly efficient photovoltaic solar cells.
  3. Ballistic Conduction – Similar to superconductivity at room temperatures, ballistic conduction occurs when electrons pass through a material unimpeded. The honeycomb lattice of graphene has the largest “mean free path” of any known material.
  4. The highest current density (a million times that of copper).
  5. The highest intrinsic motility (100 times that of silicon).
  6. Conduction in the limit of no electrons (it can carry electricity more efficiently, faster and with more precision than any other material).
  7. Transparency – Graphene absords just 2-3 percent of the light that falls on it, making it perfect for the production of touchscreens. It is however possible to see the material with the naked eye, meaning that when placed on a sheet of white paper it is possible to see a graphene sheet of carbon atoms.
  8. Stretch and stiffness – Graphene has an elasticity that means it can be stretched by 20 percent of its length, yet is also stiffer than diamond.
  9. Thermal conductivity – another record holder. Graphene is the substance with the highest level of thermal conductivity, again beating that of diamond.
  10. Impermeability – Graphene is the most impermeable material on the planet. It is so impermeable that even single atoms of helium cannot pass through it; a quality that makes it ideal for the production of gas detectors.

The role call of accolades and attributes provide a fantastic confirmation of the material’s versatility. Exploring and discovering the qualities of the material make it one of the most anticipated and expectation riddled substances ever. An investment of time and effort in graphene in an investment in its innumerable possibilities.