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Is Graphene the "Next Big Thing"?

John Blank

Themes in investing are passive ideas.  Themes can shaped companies and heavily influence their stocks. Companies can shape themes.  Portfolios can be shaped around themes.

I want to discuss is a 'disruptive technology' theme called Graphene.  

According to Wiki, a disruptive technology helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.
The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect.  This is typically done first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market.  Later, it is done by lowering prices in the existing market.
Disruptive technologies can really transform the landscape.

I took the following excerpt off of Tuaw, the unofficial webblog for Apple products.

"For massive companies like Apple and Samsung, continued success often depends on pioneering new technologies and staying ahead of the curve. Graphene, an ultra-thin and ultra-strong arrangement of carbon atoms is one of the front runners for the category of "next big thing" in tech.

A graphene sheet is as thin as a single atom and still retains its electrically conductive and heat dissipating properties, making it a fantastic material for the ever-slimmer world of mobile gadgets.

When it comes to graphene, Samsung has been snatching up patents like crazy, filing over 400 (with some duplicates between regions) with mentions of graphene, worldwide. The filings range from manufacturing processes to methods of applying graphene on different surfaces, but the most interesting patents relate to touchscreens (an image from one touchscreen filing is shown below).
If the future of smart devices include flexible screens, graphene would be a fantastic material for such an application, as it's bendable, conductive, and extremely durable."

My RTI Question:  Is Graphene the "Next Big Thing"?

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