Around in January 2016 scientists at the, UK, announced that they created the most expensive commercialized material in the world. Yes, you read it right Endohedral fullerene is the most expensive material, even expensive than gold, diamond, and platinum combined.
Though antimatter is the only material which is expensive than Endohedral fullerene currently however it is not available commercially but is estimated by NASA to cost $61 trillion dollars, so don’t expect to make money there.
It is based on research led by Dr. Kyriakos Porfyrakis and his academic group of 9 researchers and the structure of the most expensive material is a spherical molecule which consists of 60 carbon atoms (C60) which encloses an internal nitrogen atom (see photo).
Applications of Endohedral fullerene
The main application of it will be to make our clocks more accurate than it is now as only Atomic Clock shows accurate time but “At the moment, atomic clocks are room-sized. This endohedral fullerene would make it work on a chip that could go into your mobile phone,” said Lucius Cary, director of the Oxford Technology SEIS fund – which holds a minor stake in Designer Carbon Materials.
Image Souce – Wikipedia
But that’s not the only magic that it can perform, it can revolutionize the future of self-driving car as current GPS’s accuracy is upto 1 – 5 millimetre.
A miniature of an atomic clock on a mobile chip could increase this accuracy to 1 millimetre which could, in turn, will make GPS more accurate.
Most of the time even 1 millimetre is more than enough to prevent an accident, however, in a broad term the decisions of a self-driving car will be near flawless.
Lucius Cary also said, “If two cars are coming towards each other on a country lane, knowing where they are to within 2 meters is not enough, but to 1 mm it is enough.”
Apart from the above applications, there are medical applications too.
Ok, but what’s the price of Endohedral fullerene?
Because of such groundbreaking applications, its market value is estimated to oscillate between 145 and 300 million dollars a gram
Designer Carbon Materials is now producing it and they recently sold off their first sample for the price of $32,000 for 200 micrograms (1 microgram = one-millionth of a gram), which is about one-fifteenth the weight of a snowflake, or one-third the weight of a human hair.
However, not only by such applications Endohedral fullerene is expensive, but it is also expensive because of the time duration it takes to be made which is currently weeks to produce just 50 milligrams of the stuff.
But there is no need to worry, luckily DCM, an Oxford University spinoff lab, along with two partner universities received 1.5 million pounds from the British Government to speed up the process to manufacture it.
Let’s hope that we keep on getting these kinds of revolutionary products which can make our life better and more productive.
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