The world’s most expensive material is being created in a lab and it’s going for $33,000 per 200 micrograms. To put that in perspective, that’s an astonishing $4.2 billion an ounce.
The novel material consists of molecular units called endohedral fullerenes, which are essentially a cage of carbon atoms containing nitrogen atoms.
Developers and scientists behind the material are focused on implementing the endohedral fullerenes into the development of a small, portable atomic clock. The atomic clock is the most accurate time-keeping system in the world and could assist in the accuracy of everything from a GPS to an automatic car.
“Imagine a minaturised atomic clock that you could carry around in your smartphone,” says Kriakos Porfyrakis, scientist working on the development of the material. “This is the next revolution for mobile.”
Aside from impacting cellphone technology, Porfyrakis expects the material to change transportation in a big way.
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“There will be lots of applications for this technology,” says Lucius Cary, director of Oxford Technology SEIS fund. “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 2m is not enough but to 1mm it is enough.”