Tuesday, 8 December 2015

This is the world’s most expensive substance; at £100 million a gram

Caviar and pure Bolivian cocaine pale into insignificance next to a material being made in Oxford which retails at £100 million a gram. The company behind it just sold their first shipment, 200 micrograms for £22,000. You’re unlikely to put endohedral fullerenes on top of a blini, or up your nose, of course the structures will be used in hi-tech mobile systems which could ‘revolutionise’ GPS.

The structures, made by Oxford company Designer Carbon Materials, could be used to create an ultra-accurate portable atomic clock, which could make GPS devices accurate to 1mm, instead of three feet.

The difference could be crucial to the development of driverless car technology.

Lucius Cary of the Oxford Technology SEIS fund 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. 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.’