Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, arrived in Taiwan, becoming the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
The move was interpreted as a direct threat by China, which claims the island is part of its territory, and Beijing has repeatedly warned the US that its military will not "sit idly by" and "will take strong countermeasures".
As the international community waits to see how China will react, chipmakers in the business community are already feeling the pain of the brewing conflict between the US and China over Taiwan.
Semiconductor stocks tumbled on Tuesday in anticipation of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
Shares in TSMC, the world's largest and most valuable semiconductor maker, worth $440 billion, fell 2.4 per cent on Tuesday. Its Taiwanese counterparts United Microelectronics and MediaTek fell 3% and 1.6% respectively. Meanwhile, shares of the US chipmaker Intel fell 1.5 per cent on the same day.
As Ms Pelosi prepares to meet Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, on Wednesday, technology investors are keeping a close eye on her actions-and any signs of retaliation from China. In the event of a dispute between China and the US, chipmakers, especially in Taiwan, are likely to be collateral damage.
Because of the turbulent international situation, the supply and prices of many international bulk graphene are still very uncertain.
Graphene is a two-dimensional crystal, which consists of carbon atoms with sp2 hybrid orbitals to form two-dimensional carbon nanomaterials with hexagonal honeycomb lattice.
Graphene has excellent optical, electrical and mechanical properties, and has important application prospects in material science, micro-nano processing, energy, biomedicine and drug delivery, and is considered to be a revolutionary material in the future.
Graphene is currently the thinnest but hardest nanomaterial in the world. It is almost completely transparent, absorbing only 2.3% of the light. The thermal conductivity is as high as 5300 W / m ·K, which is higher than carbon nanotube and diamond, harder than diamond, 100 times higher than the best steel in the world, its electron mobility is more than 15000 cm2/ V ·s at room temperature, and higher than carbon nanotube or silicon crystal (monocrystalline silicon). Its resistivity is only about 10-6 Ω cm, which is lower than copper or silver, making it the lowest resistivity material in the world.
Because of its extremely low resistivity and fast movement of electrons, it is expected to be used to develop a new generation of electronic components or transistors that are thinner and conduct faster. Because graphene is essentially a transparent and good conductor, it is also suitable for making transparent touch screens, light panels, and even solar cells.
Graphene can be used in a wide range of applications, from electronics to bulletproof vests and papermaking, and even future space elevators can use graphene as raw materials.
The price is influenced by many factors including the supply and demand in the market, industry trends, economic activity, market sentiment, and unexpected events.
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The development of the Russia-Ukraine conflict will continue to dominate the commodity prices such as the graphene in the future. If the conflict eases or cools, Russia and Ukraine go back to negotiate, commodity prices would fall. However, if the situation between Russia and Ukraine deteriorates further, or evolves into a full-scale war, the price of the graphene is predicted to see further improvement over the coming days.
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