Brazil paves path to commercializing new chemical

Global Business

Inside São Paulo’s research center is a research center dedicated to studying graphene. The MackGraphe Center, of São Paulo’s Mackenzie University is a facility fully focused on the study of an element that holds the promise of being a key material to fuel the 4th Industrial Revolution.

CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports.

Graphene is an extremely thin layer of carbon, stronger than steel but flexible, transparent and highly conductive of electricity. It consists of just one single layer of carbon atoms. It’s such a thin material that it’s not visible to the naked eye. So, researchers at MackGraphe developed this experiment to be able to visualize it.

The graphene is attached to a small glass and a light beam is sent through it. Refraction makes it visible at a certain angle. That picture is caught by a camera and sent to a screen. Experts said it could bring a manufacturing revolution in the near future. Researchers want to understand its basic properties and the possibilities for real-world applications.

“One very interesting applications are touch screens that are flexible,” said MackGraphe associate professor, Christiano de Matos. “It is important that we aim so high and that we start early in a technology that is beginning in the world. So that we don’t start a race after everyone has started it.”

The MackGraphe facility opened in 2016 with an investment of $20 million, including public and private funds. With nine floors dedicated to graphene, it’s the first of its kind in Latin America offering local scientists opportunities to be on the cutting edge of advanced research.

“Personally speaking I am really happy doing research. This is what I like to do for my life. And here I can have an idea and put it in practice. I am happy here,” said Mackenzie’s postdoctoral student, Henrique B. Ribeiro.