Renewables MMI®: IBM Considers Replacing Silicon with Graphene

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Carbon Sciences Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to mass-produce graphene, commented today on IBM‘s recent announcement that it is considering replacing silicon with graphene for its LED and possibly solar panel applications. Graphene is a refined metal made from 99.9% pure graphite. It is a better conductor of heat and energy than copper and stronger than most thin-film applications for silicon.

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IBM has developed a new method to use graphene as a substrate for single-crystalline semiconductor film growth such as the films used in LED lighting. Graphene will be less expensive than current single-crystalline wafers used in such production methods, as it can be reused indefinitely.

IBM says that growing a 4″ GaN film today requires a 4″ SiC substrate wafer that is destroyed using the process. The SiC costs about $3,000. Graphene can be used to replace the SiC and will be much cheaper in the long run. Graphene is also useful as it is flexible and can be better adapted for films that need to be transferred to a flexible substrate.

After drifting 1.5%, US steel plate dropped to $869.00 per short ton making it the biggest mover on the weekly Renewables MMI® this week. Korean steel plate remained essentially flat from the previous week at KRW 900,000 ($857.59) per metric ton. Japanese steel plate traded sideways last week, hovering around JPY 76,000 ($694.70) per metric ton.

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Chinese renewables prices were flat for the week. At CNY 231,000 ($37,561) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Chinese cobalt cathodes. At CNY 13,900 ($2,260) per metric ton, the price of silicon did not change since the previous week. Neodymium prices held steady from the previous week at CNY 375,000 ($60,976) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese steel plate closed flat at CNY 3,480 ($565.86) per metric ton.

US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) continues hovering around $2,691 per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The Renewables MMI® collects and weights 8 metal price points used extensively within the renewable energy industry to provide a unique view into renewable energy metal price trends. For more information on the Renewables MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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