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Graphene Creates Electricity When Struck By Light

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the it-slices-it-dices dept.

Power 132

MrSeb writes with news out of MIT about another interesting and potentially useful property of graphene. Researchers have known for several years that graphene generates electricity when exposed to sunlight, but incorrectly attributed it to the photovoltaic effect. A new paper shows that the current is actually generated from the much more unusual 'hot-carrier' response. Quoting: "The material’s electrons, which carry current, are heated by the light, but the lattice of carbon nuclei that forms graphene’s backbone remains cool. It’s this difference in temperature within the material that produces the flow of electricity. ... Such differential heating has been observed before, but only under very special circumstances: either at ultralow temperatures (measured in thousandths of a degree above absolute zero), or when materials are blasted with intense energy from a high-power laser. This response in graphene, by contrast, occurs across a broad range of temperatures all the way up to room temperature, and with light no more intense than ordinary sunlight." It will take more work to determine what new applications are reasonable from an efficiency perspective, but it does broaden graphene's already-impressive capabilities.

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Again? (1, Interesting)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641422)

Every other day there is a story on /. about some new technique or material that can solve the energy crisis. This has been going on for years. Why do these never, ever come to fruition?

Re:Again? (0)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641454)

At least we aren't bring bombarded with bitcoin stories anymore. Looks like once taco left the bitcoin shilling fell away.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641550)

Good thing I bought all that graphene with my bitcoins the other day.

Did you not know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641620)

One of the peculiar effects of graphene is that it generates bitcoins.

Re:Did you not know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641708)

Graphene solar panel,
Bitcoin farming machine,
???
Profit (virtual)

Re:Did you not know? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642114)

>Graphene solar panel,
>Bitcoin farming machine,

Beowulf cluster of reduced carbon footprints.

>Profit (virtual)

Re:Did you not know? (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642350)

Beowulf cluster of reduced carbon footprints.

What do you think graphene is made from?

Re:Did you not know? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643076)

Gorilla glass.

Shilling is also a currency, you know (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641872)

Looks like once taco left the bitcoin shilling fell away.

How many shillings in a bitcoin?

Re:Shilling is also a currency, you know (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642560)

Looks like once taco left the bitcoin shilling fell away.

How many shillings in a bitcoin?

Approximately 4 bacon strips worth, or 2.63 football fields when converting units.

Re:Again? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641884)

I was reading through a summary of the entire history of BitCoin on SomethingAwful and I lost any respect I ever had for that project and its participants. I made the right decision to not waste any electricity on it.

Re:Again? (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642200)

SomethingAwful

Ah, a reputable and authoritative source.

Re:Again? (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642252)

A comedy site, yes, but the article was based on verifiable facts. And I did verify many of them because I was shocked at the level of stupidity.

Re:Again? (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642488)

So, you did waste electricity on it!

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642258)

Relative to Slashdot? Um...Yeah.

Something Awful up for pulitzer prize.... (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642434)

I was reading through a summary of the entire history of BitCoin on SomethingAwful and I lost any respect I ever had for that project and its participants. I made the right decision to not waste any electricity on it.

You are basing decisions about the validity and feasibility of BC based off of something posted on SA? Look, SA is a fucking hilarious site, but really? Do you get your investigative reporting from the Onion?

Re:Something Awful up for pulitzer prize.... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643030)

Hey hey, no one, not even fox news, has more reputable investigative reporting than the Onion.

Re:Something Awful up for pulitzer prize.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643558)

I particularly love the diversity of the people on the street the Onion finds!

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642770)

The bitcoin whining is far more pervasive and annoying than the bitcoin "shilling".

Re:Again? (1)

spongman (182339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641458)

are you asking why people might find it difficult to put big oil/coal companies out of business?

Re:Again? (2)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641582)

are you asking why people might find it difficult to put big oil/coal companies out of business?

I don't think going out of business is in the cards for them. They'll just switch to whatever technology is most profitable. BP didn't change their slogan to "Beyond Petroleum" for no reason.

Re:Again? (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642088)

It depends what the replacement is. If the new "fuel" is direct sunlight, or wind, or thorium, etc., there is money to be made building and maintaining power plants, but no longer any real money to be made selling fuel -- because the primary cost is building the plant in the first place, not buying something to burn in it.

Re:Again? (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642132)

So they're looking for ways to spill other kinds of toxic waste in my backyard?

Such innovation.

Re:Again? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641572)

Maybe beause the "solve the energy crisis" bit is something that morons with no reading comprehension (like you) mentally insert rather than something the articles are actually saying.

Re:Again? (0)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641628)

I may be a moron, but I did get first post!!!

Re:Again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642146)

I dub thee "First Moron" .. take a bow.

Re:Again? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641586)

Producing in the labs vs producing in a manufacturing setting is worlds apart simply. Depending on the technology, there are lots of reasons why some takes decades to reach the market while others never reach it at all.

These include:
1) economic viability (the technology costs too much)
2) production viability (difficult if not impossible to produce at a large scale) which may require manufacturing technology to be developed as well or simply is impossible due to it's nature
3) technological issues (which the technology shows great interests but requires dealing with issues that must be addressed first before it can be used)

In this case, graphene, while many breakthroughs have been made with the materials, it still requires much more research as there are alot of issues to deal with and things we still don't understand about it.

Re:Again? (1, Flamebait)

Xeranar (2029624) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641656)

Because science is occurring at such rapid speed that new innovations are always occurring and energy generation is a MAJOR issue currently in the world. A vast combination of graphene like this and solar/wind power could solve a great many problems. The current issue is that oil companies have a stranglehold on power generation as they are in alliance with the coal industry to keep us using non-renewable resources for the foreseeable future and it will take government intervention to stop that. Talk to your right-wingers and libertarians about that before griping about science.

Re:Again? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641766)

Talk to your right-wingers and libertarians about that before griping about science.

Where in my post did I gripe about science? My (rhetorical) question was intended to point out that there are many, many ways (indeed, which science has shown us) to deal with our energy issues, yet somehow we still can't get them past the laboratories. As you can see for the replies, there are many reasons why this is the case, very few of which have anything to do with science.

Re:Again? (2)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641808)

The largest problem I have had with coming around on the energy / global climate debate is that these horrible dire predictions are always accompanied by the most ineffectual proposals to mitigate the effects. No one is really coming out and saying straight up there is no solution we just must reduce consumption in a way that is incompatible with current society. Either they are wrong about the magnitude of the problem or wrong about how we should proceed to correct it. I was of the mind that they were wrong about the problem but it is becoming apparent that they have been wrong about he solution and things are going to go very badly over the rest of my lifetime and perhaps my children's natural lifetimes (it isn't at all certain that they will live so long) before we arrive at an equilibrium of hotter temperatures, new habitable areas (Canada will look nice) and a drastically reduced global population. We appear to be in a situation where everything is wrong and no fix that we would choose can possibly begin to help. I think the Catch-22 century came a little early.

Re:Again? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641846)

I say the more potential energy cure-alls we have that are "20 years away" the better! :-P

Re:Again? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642734)

This scale [xkcd.com] give some hints, like it being between 10 and 25 years away.

Re:Again? (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641946)

Because people like you never notice how much things actually *are* changing here in the real world.

Batteries are my favorite example. I'm constantly hearing people complain about reporting on battery breakthroughs in the lab, sarcastically saying, "Yeah, but when are we actually going to see these in the real world?" -- forgetting how much radically smaller and/or longer lived rechargeable batteries have gotten for increasingly high-power-consumption consumer electronics. Secondary cells have 5x'ed in energy density since the late 80s, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. Even li-ion seems to have good life left in it (in particular, the anode; silicon (derided on Slashdot as a "sure, when will we finally see THAT?" tech) is now starting to replace carbon for part of the anode materials in commercially available cells, and it has a maximum theoretical anode energy density 10x that of carbon). Li-ion cathodes probably have a good 50% improvement left in them, possibly more; we'll probably see a migration to a Li-S chemistry after that, since that seems to be maturing the fastest (barring unexpected breakthroughs in Li-air, other chemistries, or electrostatic storage).

One nice thing about Li-S is that it's lower cell voltage with a much higher cell capacity, meaning that it's easier to get a specific desired voltage. Electrostatics would obviously be best (durability, temperature sensitivity, voltage discharge curve, etc), but they've also got the longest way to go. Li-air is oft hyped, but it too has an awfully long way to go. Then there's all sorts of other longer-shot contenders out there -- nickel-lithium, sodium-ion, aluminum secondary cells, etc. And then the question of whether flow batteries of any given chemistry will ever compete outside of a very narrow range of applications (such as grid storage).

Re:Again? (2)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642664)

Another area that's seen a lot of improvement is Low self-discharge NiMG batteries [wikipedia.org] . A few months ago i got around to replacing my old set of rechargeable batteries with a new set of these and i've been pretty impressed. They hold a bigger charge for longer, and they even seem to recharge faster, though that might just my optimistic thinking on my part. My only complaint is the charger requires me to recharge them in pairs rather than one battery at a time, but that's just an issue with the design of the charger.

But unless you pay attention carefully or do some research on the subject it's easy to miss the improvements. They "just work", and how many people pay attention to the things that are working fine? Very rarely when an improvement makes its way to the shelves does it make a big splash. It might get hyped up in the marketing materials but we've all trained ourselves to ignore that stuff.

Re:Again? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642004)

Because they are scientist not engineers.
Scientist discover new stuff. Engineers use the new stuff discovered and makes use of it.

In terms of power. The more energy they can save/collect the more they have to use more.

It is the same when Gas prices are lower people buy larger cars. When prices are higher they buy smaller cars.

When the engineer get to use a new better power source smaller/lighter they will try to make it the same size/weight that it had before and use the extra energy it has to do more stuff with it.

Try to imagine how much battery life we can get with a laptop if it needed to follow the same performance specs of a 386 monochrome display laptop. You can probably get months of Uptime at high CPU usage.

Re:Again? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642250)

The article barely mentioned generating electricity from graphene and what was talked about the scientists was that they had no idea if it was possible. They did seem excited about using graphene as a new type of photo-detector.

Re:Again? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642776)

Because they don't make someone or a corporation filthy rich overnight. It will take a lot of money to figure out and all it will do is help humanity.

Screw humanity, Buckets of money are far more important.

I have another use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641424)

I have another use. I shoved my 13 inch graphene penis in your dad's anus and made him squeal like a pig.

Re:I have another use (1, Funny)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641506)

We're talking graphene, not graphite pencil-dick!

Re:I have another use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641584)

Hurr hurr.

Re:I have another use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642080)

fag

Re:I have another use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642158)

Takes one to know one.

Nice to know the research is going somewhere (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641434)

We hear about new renewable energy sources every day, can everyone just focus on one so we can see it in the next 10+ years?

Re:Nice to know the research is going somewhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641922)

Almost all of them have some, fatal flaw, which may already be known or as yet unforeseen. In addition work often proceeds in small steps even if the jornalists make them sound big, the "next big thing" provides a 10/20% advantage (at best) in real world solutions, and takes time to reach its full potential so we just use it without noticing. In short by trying lots of thing at once we keep up steady progress, if we pick just one then we will stop.

Re:Nice to know the research is going somewhere (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642042)

No that is a bad idea.
We need more energy diversity not less. Every energy sources has its advantages and disadvantages more sources will give us choice on what to use for our needs.

It is like choosing how to heat your home. You have Electricity, Natural Gas, Propane, Oil, Wood/Wood Pellets... Depending on your location you can choose an optimal solution.

Re:Nice to know the research is going somewhere (4, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642168)

Long story short... no. First, that isn't how science works. If I'm an expert in photovoltaic reactions, my help isn't very helpful while you're trying to get a windmill working. Scientist are, in general, specialists, there is no degree in "cool alternative energy technology". Second, that's not how markets work. If I'm really close to figuring out how to, say, increase solar cell efficiency by 50%, thus making me rich; I'm unlikely to give up that work because we're working on wind power this month. Finally, it would be foolish to put all of our eggs in one basket. It's unlikely that any currently feasible alternative energy systems will be able to supply all the power people need everywhere.

Deserts are great for solar, coastline are get for wind and hydro, volcanically active areas are great for geothermal... None of them is a perfect tech that will work everywhere. Seattle would find solar farms all but useless, and there's not much easily available geothermal in Detroit. There are a few "magic bullet" technologies being researched, but they are very theoretical and a risky "bet the farm" idea. Sure, controllable and safe fusion power would solve all our problems, but no one is entirely sure it's possible.

Re:Nice to know the research is going somewhere (2)

stevusmichaels (1751474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643672)

Actually, there is a degree in "cool alternative energy technology". My college recently started offering a PhD in "sustainability", whatever that is.

Re:Nice to know the research is going somewhere (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642202)

Eh? What if they choose the wrong one?

This isn't Sid Meyer, this is real life. You have many people working on many different methods, and the best one wins out. You don't know what will work and what won't before-hand.

Re:Nice to know the research is going somewhere (1)

es330td (964170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642696)

We hear about new renewable energy sources every day, can everyone just focus on one so we can see it in the next 10+ years?

When I read this, my immediate thought was "This reminds me of Linux." If all the people working on their own distribution had chosen to focus on one distro Windows would already be history.

Might come in handy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641440)

Does this mean that a simple sheet of graphene hooked up to copper wires might act as a solar panel?

Re:Might come in handy (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642248)

It sounds like they had to treat different sections of it to produce a gradient of some sort.

If the treatment is simple enough, then probably, yes.

I wish they would put out some actual numbers, like how much current and amperage they got off of how big a "panel" in sunlight, or a wavelength response study. They said that even IR made a response. That might well mean that you could harness HEAT. If that turned out to be the case, then this would be huge. As it is, it might be huge anyways.

So... not related to light at all really (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641484)

This has absolutely nothing to do with light, and instead has absolutely incredible implications for power generation. Graphene geothermal probes for more efficiency, graphene cooling tubes for maximum gas/oil/coal electric power generation, nuclear power (bonus: extra radiation protection)... Hell, strap graphene to just about any process that involves waste heat and get power for "free!"

Re:So... not related to light at all really (1)

ndavis (1499237) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641536)

This has absolutely nothing to do with light, and instead has absolutely incredible implications for power generation. Graphene geothermal probes for more efficiency, graphene cooling tubes for maximum gas/oil/coal electric power generation, nuclear power (bonus: extra radiation protection)... Hell, strap graphene to just about any process that involves waste heat and get power for "free!"

This would be perfect in a car if they could use it to cool the engine as well as generate elecity without a generator.

Re:So... not related to light at all really (1)

RogueLeaderX (845092) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641902)

This has absolutely nothing to do with light, and instead has absolutely incredible implications for power generation. Graphene geothermal probes for more efficiency, graphene cooling tubes for maximum gas/oil/coal electric power generation, nuclear power (bonus: extra radiation protection)... Hell, strap graphene to just about any process that involves waste heat and get power for "free!"

This would be perfect in a car if they could use it to cool the engine as well as generate elecity without a generator.

From TFA:

In most materials, superheated electrons would transfer energy to the lattice around them. In the case of graphene, however, that’s exceedingly hard to do, since the material’s strength means it takes very high energy to vibrate its lattice of carbon nuclei — so very little of the electrons’ heat is transferred to that lattice.

Perhaps I'm reading that wrong, but it sounds like it captures heat. Unless it rapidly converts said heat to electricity that strikes me as a good way to increase the heat in your engine compartment, not reduce it.

Re:So... not related to light at all really (3, Informative)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642282)

No, it captures heat by increasing electron mobility through the aromatic p-orbitals that pervade the entire sheet. That is, it converts heat into electron flow, ie electricity, without damaging the substrate.

Re:So... not related to light at all really (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641932)

Especially in electric cars, that would be great. The electric equivalent of turbocharging! MOAR BOOST!

Re:So... not related to light at all really (2)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642310)

The real problem is this: You can't beat Carnot. If you could, you could produce infinite energy.

Here's an example of why. Are you familiar with the term "COP" from the heating/cooling world? "Coefficient Of Performance". It's the ratio of how much energy you move against a thermal gradient versus how much energy you put in. Counterintuitively, perhaps, the numbers are often well greater than 1. Home AC systems, for example, are usually COP=2.5 to 4.0, and you may see commercial systems in the ~5.0 ballpark (that is, they move five times more heat energy from the cold reservoir to the hot reservoir than they take in). The closer together the temperature of the hot and cold well, the higher the maximum theoretical COP -- just like the closer together the temperature of the hot and cold well in a generator, the *lower* the maximum theoretical generation efficiency of a generator, due to Carnot's law. Guess what? Those come out to the *same boundary condition*; that is, a 100% efficient engine would harness precisely the amount of work needed to power a 100% efficient heat pump to restore the heat gradient used in generating said work. If you could ever produce more work from a given heat differential than the Carnot limit at that temperature, then you could run a heat pump to more than restore the heat differential used to produce that work, and you now have an over-unity perpetual motion machine. And, of course, in the real world, nothing is 100% efficient.

It doesn't matter whether someone's "clever idea" for recovering ever-more energy from waste heat has to do with infrared electricity production, graphene magic, or pixie dust. It's never going to work beyond the Carnot limit. If someone thinks they've found a way to make it work, they're missing something. "Waste heat" can, of course, always have *some* energy recovered from it, as long as there's any temperature differential at all, but as Carnot's Law will tell us, you rapidly hit diminishing returns. We call it waste when it's at the point that we can no longer justify spending the money to stick even the cheapest of generators there to recover more because the recovery rate is just so low.

In a car, the whole point generally shouldn't be "how can we try to recover these tiny amounts of energy from waste heat". The goal should be, "how can we stop spending the energy in the first place." This means efficient energy storage and reuse, keeping any engines/motors as close to their optimal powerbands as possible, and an efficient primary propulsion cycle (in the case of an ICE, a high compression ratio). You'll generally get way more energy with way less investment (and less mass -- and remember, extra vehicle mass is an energy *consumer*). Any waste heat energy recovery should be as simple as possible, such as using exhaust to run a fuel preheating stage.

Re:So... not related to light at all really (2)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641570)

So what's the ultimate efficiency? What percentage? Is it better than existing tech?

Re:So... not related to light at all really (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641738)

Since full spectrum light includes infrared, yes, it has a lot to do with light. Infrared heats the surface, causing electricity to be produced.
Are there better sources of heat? oh certainly. However, without sunlight hitting the graphene, the discovery might have been delayed extensively.

Another accidental discovery (potentially) due to someone leaving their experiment out in the sunlight.

See my other post regarding combining this with a thorium thermal engine...

Re:So... not related to light at all really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642910)

It didn't say in the MIT article that it could convert any kind of heat into electricity. It said that the electrons absorbed heat directly from light waves without transferring it to the lattice. Do you have additional background on this?

Re:So... not related to light at all really (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643650)

As long as the heat generated is lower than room temperature...

Where's Billy Mays? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641522)

Where's Billy Mays when you need him? Is there anything graphene can't do? It is starting to sound like the Sham-Wow of materials science.

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641626)

There was sexual assault involved? Opps, sorry... that was Vince.

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641924)

I have a feeling graphene is going to do for us what plastic did.

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642700)

Destroy our environment? Yea, me too.

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643308)

Create an island in the ocean that kills any sea life near it? Create mountains of carcinogens in other countries where people get paid pitiful wages to huff fumes to sort it for recycling? Permanently double the price of oil because it's useful for far more things than before, even while there isn't that much more of it available? Last forever in landfills?

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642064)

He died.
Sorry to be a downer.

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642306)

He died and was resurrected three days later, to bring us the glory of graphene materials.

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642582)

With the refreshing power of orange!

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642106)

*engage mental capslock*

Billy Mays here! Are you disappointed at current materials? Want a super-strong wonder material that will let you build a space elevator while generating solar power at the same time? Well now there's Graphene! Yes, Graphene! See how much stronger and lighter it is than steel! Look at how it outperforms a traditional solar panel! The uses are practically limitless!

How much do you think a sheet of this stuff would cost per square foot? 100 million dollars? 70 million dollars? Well you can order it right now at just $39.99 million dollars per square foot! Just pay separate shipping and handling!

*mental capslock off*

Orderyour graphenesheet rightnow! Justpay thirtyninemillion
ninehundred and ninetyninethousand
ninehundred and ninetyninedollars
and ninetyninecents
plusshipping andprocessing!
Thisofferwontlastforever,buynow!

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642328)

Isn't he going to double my order if I order now? And maybe give me some completely unrelated product of little actual value for a bonus gift?

"That's right folks, order now and get two square feet of graphene for 39.99 million dollars. And this free ferret. It can all be yours for this low, low, price. order now!"

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642566)

Do you offer a four easy payments plan?

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (1)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642182)

Billy Mays is in talks with Steve Jobs on how to market future products.

Re:Where's Billy Mays? (1)

Ced_Ex (789138) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642640)

I would have paid good money to see Billy Mays launch the latest Apple iWhatever product.

"Billy Mays said what?! I'll buy 4!!"

Combine this with the Thorium engine.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641558)

Instead of using a turbine, just route the heat flow over millions/billions of graphene thermal generators attached to every surface imaginable while the fluid (or steam) is channeled / cooled.

Shotgun (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641598)

I call shotgun for riding down to the center of the earth [imdb.com] next to Hilary Swank. Now we just need to find a laser that can blast through solid rock quick enough.

Re:Shotgun (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642370)

Who needs a laser? All you need is a nuclear weapon and a hundred thousand tonnes of molten iron [bbc.co.uk] ;)

Re:Shotgun (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643130)

I think the idea was to go along with Hillary. Chicks don't like nuclear weapons much. Lasers are sexier.

Testing is in order! (1)

chronoglass (1353185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641630)

it's fairly easy to create graphene (at least from what I've read), I wonder if using the pencil and tape method could give you a mini solar panel to play with.

time to find some tape!

Wireless Power (1)

machinelou (1119861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641672)

Perhaps this could be used on the receiving side of a "wireless" power system for spacecraft. A ship could have graphene panels pointed toward Earth where lasers, microwaves, or other forms of transmitted energy could provide power.

So what you're saying is... (1)

isaachulvey (964254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641680)

This is a very intriguing idea... The question I ask is, is it simply the temperature difference that causes the electricity flow, or does light actually have something to do with it? If it's just the temperature gradient, this could have great potential in places where there is no "sunlight" but there is heat.

Re:So what you're saying is... (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641914)

Well, heat is essentially infrared radiation, which is "light", so to speak, so I think it would work.

really? :/ (1)

slowness (576562) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641770)

I find this to be much more interesting than the previous comments would make it seem. We are on the cusp of great things in this new frontier. I believe the studying of matter at the atomic scale can lead us where we *need* to go as a species and civilization. Pay close attention to what people who study graphene (or nanotechnology) say... Graphene's properties and behavior are amazing. Don't worry about bringing it to market in a product. Communication over.

..she knew everything she was ever told was WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641798)

So perhaps electricity is better understood as the convection (heat transfer) of electrons. :-)

I create electricity when stuck with needles. (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641900)

I guess that makes me a viable power source.

Re:I create electricity when stuck with needles. (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642376)

Excuse me while I patent that idea, hopefully the potato clock isn't considered prior art.

Re:I create electricity when stuck with needles. (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642694)

Sadly, given my current age and shape, the odds are high.

Re:I create electricity when stuck with needles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642868)

The machines certainly think so.

By This Evening... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641942)

By this evening, no doubt, this miracle substance will cure cancer and hangnails as well. Stay tuned.

Ideal replacement for satellite solar panels (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641976)

Cheaper, sturdier, more power output per square centimeter of surface area.

From the Dept of Headlines That Miss the Point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642332)

Graphene Creates Electricity When Struck By Light

Researchers have known for several years that graphene generates electricity when exposed to sunlight

Calling it now: (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642474)

God is trolling us with this stuff. We work up industrial batches, integrate it into a thousand and one applications, and BAM! It suddenly becomes electrically inert.

Re:Calling it now: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642702)

I think "carcinogenic" is gods standard crippling-drawback-of-otherwise-mirraculous-substance-that-will-only-be-realised-after-decades-of-widespread-use

Misread title... (1)

katarn (110199) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642556)

Misread title as "Graphene Creates Electricity When Struck By Lightning". I was thinking Well duh; pretty much anything "generates" electricity when struck by lightning!

Re:Misread title... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642918)

Not quite, everything "absorbs" electricity when struck by lightning. For a short time at least, the energy usually gets converted to heat rather quickly.

Graphene Facts (2)

CommieLib (468883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642738)

  1. Graphene can throw a perfect game with one pitch.
  2. Graphene once played Russian Roulette with a muzzleloader and won.
  3. Graphene simply walks into Mordor.
  4. Graphene once beat a wall at tennis.

Re:Graphene Facts (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643732)

It is the most interesting material.

I don't always generate electricity,
but when I do, I do it with a hot-carrier response.

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