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World’s ‘Thinnest’ Light Bulb, Made From Graphene, Debuts

June 15, 2015

World’s ‘Thinnest’ Light Bulb, Made From Graphene, Debuts

By Wendy Koch, National Geographic
PUBLISHED JUNE 15, 2015

The quest for the better light bulb has taken yet another leap. This time, nanotechnology derives light from atom-thin strips of one of the world’s strongest materials: graphene.


For the first time, scientists say they’ve created a flexible and transparent light source with carbon in its purest form. They say their discovery could also eventually transform computers by using light rather than electronic circuits in semiconductor chips.

“We’ve created what is essentially the world’s thinnest light bulb,” says Columbia University engineering professor James Hone in announcing the findings. He co-authored a study, published Monday on Nature Nanotechnology's website, by a team of researchers from South Korea, Columbia's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Stanford University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Their approach is notable even in the rapidly changing world of light bulbs. In recent years, as the United States and other countries have moved to phase out Thomas Edison’s century-old incandescent, the market has moved toward much more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs)—and beyond.

Read more at National Geographic.

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