What makes you a very, very rich man?
Robotics? Are you kidding me?!
It’s Endohedral Fullerene, baby! – the most expensive material on earth!
A spin-off lab that goes by the name Designer Carbon Materials has recently sold their first sample of Endohedral Fullerenes in a 200 microgram volume for a whooping US$ 32k. Now that’s just one-fifteenth the weight of a snowflake, or one third of a single strand of a human hair that brought the company that outrageous amount. I hope you got the idea already by now.
So, what exactly is Endohedral Fullerene?
First discovered in 1985, Endohedral Fullerenes are sphere shaped carbon nanostructures made of a sturdy fullerene cage consisting of as many as 60 carbon atoms, that trap the atoms of non-metals or simple molecules, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and helium. The material is not only an expensive piece of curiosity, it also carries the potential to change the way we keep time, especially when nitrogen atoms are included. This is because of their extra-long electron spin lifetime.
How will Endohedral Fullerenes benefit mankind?
Research is being conducted on the possibility of using this material in atomic clocks, as it is speculated that the use of Endohedral Fullerene will help us maintain the most’ accurate time”. The atomic clock that has the size of a cabinet can be downsized to the size of a microchip when Endohedral Fullerene is being used; this will facilitate installing these clocks in our phones or integrating them with our GPS devices, in order to keep time. The creators of this material at Oxford expect to use the same in making all kinds of devices more accurate than ever.
What do they have to say about Endohedral Fullerenes?
“If we can figure out how to do that”, says Doug Bolton at The Independent, “we could have GPS devices that are accurate to within 1 millimeter. That’s pretty mind-blowing, when you consider that current GPS devices are accurate to around 1 to 5 meters.”
Lucius Cary, director of the Oxford Technology SEIS fund, who also happens to be a minor stake-holder in Designer Carbon Materials says, “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.”
“There will be lots of applications for this technology,” he adds. “The most obvious is in controlling autonomous vehicles. 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.”
Significance of F
Endohedral Fullerene arguably is the most expensive material on earth, after antimatter. At $32,000 for 200 micrograms, Endohedral Fullerene is second to antimatter which NASA estimates to be valued around $61 trillion per gram. And the interesting part is, no one is in the business of producing antimatter for commercial purpose which makes the Endohedral Fullerene top the list.