Specks of graphene on a tape
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Surge in interest in 'wonder-material' Graphene

15 January 2013 Last updated at 13:02 GMT

A surge in research into the novel material graphene reveals an intensifying global contest to lead a potential industrial revolution.

Graphene is a flat sheet of carbon, one-atom thick and is almost completely transparent as well as being a good conductor of electricity.

Latest figures show a sharp rise in patents filed to claim rights over different aspects of graphene since 2007, with a further spike last year.

The BBC's science editor, David Shukman has a special report.