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Europe Bets €1 Billion on Graphene to Lead a Tech Renaissance

Europe Bets ???1 Billion on Graphene to Lead a Tech Renaissance
Photograph by Everett Collection

Lighter than a feather, stronger than steel, a superior electrical conductor to copper: According to its champions, graphene could unlock a new era of super-energy-efficient gadgets, cheap quick-charge batteries, wafer-thin, flexible touchscreen computing, and a sturdier light-weight automobile chassis.

Graphene, which is composed of carbon, is plentiful and relatively cheap to produce, unlike the rare earth metals that currently power smartphones and tablets. It has been called the plastic of the 21st century because of its versatility, even touted as the heir apparent to silicon chips. From a materials standpoint, it does everything but wear a cape and rescue puppies.