CAMBRIDGE, England—A substance 200 times stronger than steel yet as thin as an atom has ignited a global scientific gold rush, sending companies and universities racing to understand, patent and profit from the skinnier, more glamorous cousin of ordinary pencil lead. The material is graphene, and to demonstrate its potential, Andrea Ferrari recently picked up a sheet of clear plastic, flexed it and then tapped invisible keys, triggering tinkly musical notes.

CAMBRIDGE, England—A substance 200 times stronger than steel yet as thin as an atom has ignited a global scientific gold rush, sending companies and universities racing to understand, patent and profit from the skinnier, more glamorous cousin of ordinary pencil lead. 

The material is graphene, and to demonstrate its potential, Andrea Ferrari recently picked up a sheet of clear plastic, flexed it and then tapped invisible keys, triggering tinkly musical notes.

The keyboard made at Dr. Ferrari’s University of Cambridge lab was printed with a circuit of graphene, which is so pliable that scientists predict it will fulfill dreams of flexible phones and electronic newspapers that can fold into a pocket. It is the thinnest material known. But it is exceedingly strong, light and flexible. It is exceptional at conducting electricity and heat, and at absorbing and emitting light.

Source: Wall Street Journal | Gutam Neik