Mobile phones that fold, razor thin handsets powered by flexible batteries or see-through solar panels built directly into a colourful screen.
These visions of our mobile future may seem a world away from our rigid, fragile and power-hungry smartphones today. But they could all soon become reality thanks to the “wonder material” known as graphene. Believe the hype and these single-atom-thick sheets of carbon could soon replace just about every material and component used in modern day smartphones, making it lighter, faster and with more bells and whistles than ever before. If these claims seem extraordinary, then so too is the material which could make them possible. Graphene is made of a single element, carbon, arranged in a flat, unchanging crystal pattern that looks like chicken wire. Although it may sound rare and complex it is simply very thin layers of graphite – the same as found in a common pencil. In fact it’s now realised that almost every stroke of a pencil leaves fragments of graphene in the shining grey trace on the paper. (via BBC - Future - Technology - Graphene: Bend and flex for mobile phones)