Renewable nanopower: the new age of earth abundant electronics

Renewable nanopower: the new age of earth abundant electronics


Hi everybody, my name is Peter and I work
with electronics. So there’s this concept in electronics call processing power,
which is basically how quickly can your electronic device go through a series of
lines of code to run the software that you want it to run. Essentially, to do the
cool things that you want it to do every day. Now if you look through our recent
history, in 1985 there was something called be Cray-2 supercomputer. This
was the fastest computer on earth at the time. It was 32 million dollars and about
the size of a washing machine fast forward to 2011 and have the iPhone 4.
This was $200 with contract and fits in the palm of your hand. Now the thing
I want you to take away from this is that these two things actually have the same
processing power, meaning they have the ability to do the same things. So as the
size of electronic devices has gone down with the same amount of power, the cost has
gone down tremendously as well. Now this trend would continue, however, there’s a
major problem with the general public is kind of unaware of, which is that
ninety percent of the individual components in your electronic devices
are made out of the element silicon. However if you try to get silicon down below about
10 nanometers your device actually won’t work and there’s some very complex solid
state physics behind why this is true that I don’t have time to go into right
now, but if you look at companies like IBM or Intel, they’re actually moving away
from using the element silicon to wanting to use new materials instead. So in my
lab, we’re a little bit ahead of the game. We use new materials that are 2D — essentially
flat, light graphene to build real working devices that are versatile and
flexible for the next coming age of electornics. These materials are about one
nanometer in height, a tenth of what silicon could ever be. They have better
electrical performance and will eventually be cheaper than the silicon
counterpart. As an analogy, imagine you’re running a business and you need ten
people do the same job. These guys are generally unproductive, unhappy people.
That’s your silicon business model. Instead, now you only need one employee to do that same job, he’s
ten times as productive and actually wants to be paid less for some reason. That’s your graphine business model. So you
can see the difference here is very significant We actually have to get over this 10
nanometer barrier if we want to keep making the things that we care about better.
Whether it’s more efficient solar panels and renewable energy. Better technology
for helping the third world. The next stage of space exploration or even new
biomedical devices like this one in the bottom right, made out of the graphine that
actually monitors your blood sugar in real time. Potentially protecting the lives of the
400 million people across the world that have diabetes. More than the entire population of the
United States. So as Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors says, “If something is
important enough, you do it.” And hopefully today I’ve convinced you that shifting to
these new materials is important enough for you to support. Thank you for your time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *