A U.K. company looking to tap the potential of graphene — the new "wonder" carbon that is the thinnest, strongest and most impermeable material known in the universe — made its stock market debut Wednesday.
Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) floated on the U.K's AIM, a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange for companies too small to list on the main market, at a price of 155.5 pence, valuing the company at around £26.2 million. Shares rose throughout the day and closed at around 225.0 pence.
(CNBC explains: IPO)
Graphene is a "nano-material", which consists of single layers of carbon atoms and has a vast array of potential applications. The material could be used to make lighter aircraft, super-long-lasting batteries, cheaper solar energy panels, semiconductor electronics and sensors.
The substance was originally isolated by scientists at the U.K.'s University of Manchester in 2004, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for their experiments in graphene in 2010.
But despite its attributes — which include the best thermal conductivity of any known material, plus high levels of electric conductivity and elasticity — efforts to monetize it have been hampered by an inability to produce it cost efficiently and on a commercial scale. Most graphene production techniques rely on a supply of graphite, the natural version of which must be mined.