November 28, 2011|By Jay Fitzgerald
It looks like nothing more than microscopic chicken wire, but a number of Massachusetts institutions are betting that graphene, a form of carbon built in layers one atom thick, will spark a new technology boom.
One of the strongest and most highly conductive materials ever measured, graphene is so lightweight and versatile that its potential uses seem limitless: as a replacement for silicon that will make superfast computer chips; as a fabric that will create “smart’’ clothing; even to make solar energy panels that can be rolled up or folded.
That’s why engineers and scientists across Massachusetts and the industrial world are promoting graphene as a miracle material. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other universities, as well as companies like Cabot Corp., the giant chemical company in Boston, are hoping Massachusetts can become a center for a burgeoning graphene industry.
The skys the limit, it seems, with graphene