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Shou-En Zhu: Getting to grips with graphene

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Graphene, a nano-structure, has many different usages. For instance, imagine a world where you would be able to desalinate water with a tool that can fit in your pocket or windows that can produce power because of it’s conductivity and clarity. Imagine all electronic devices fully charged in 10 minutes or electronic devices embedded in clothing and electronic chips one thousand times faster than current technology can produce. This is only a part of what graphene is capable of doing.

Now, working on a PhD in Graphene Research at TU Delft and with the understanding that there is a lack of development with this material, he set out on a new venture, designing and constructing a machine that can produce graphene from scratch on a much smaller budget.

There is a Chinese dream whereby education is the key to secure one’s brighter future. Shou-En Zhu was one of the millions of Chinese taking part in the rural-urban migration in order to receive this good education.

Zhu understood the lack of development in graphene and with this insight, he managed to design and construct sophisticated graphene production equipment from scratch. When trying to reminisce about his ordeal, Zhu shared the influential teachings of a former chairman of the Department of Material Science in Jilin University that kept him going: “If all of the people in this new field are sprouts, you have to grow a little bit taller than the rest, to get more sun and to grow into a large tree.”