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Chapter 496: Conquering The Germans With Technology
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Not far from Jin Ling University, the Baosheng Group factory was located in the munic.i.p.al government’s newly planned high-tech zone.
There was a piece of large production equipment in the middle of the s.p.a.cious factory.
From the outside, this equipment might look a bit strange, or rather, a bit elementary. It almost looked like something that was pieced together in a hurry.
If someone didn’t introduce it, no one would guess that this non-science fiction looking thing was actually the core equipment in the production of thousand-nanometer wide graphene wires. No one would ever think that the silver strand between the opening and closing metal plates was actually the SG-1 wire, which was worth more than its weight in gold.
Of course, that was only for the time being.
Once the production and equipment improved, and the production of scales goes up, the cost would naturally come down.
Suddenly, they heard footsteps coming from outside the factory.
When the engineers inside the factory noticed the sound, they turned to look at the door. They then saw a group of people walking behind General Manager Sun and Engineer Cao.
An engineer wiped the sweat off his face. When he saw a young man smiling with General Manager Sun, he couldn’t help but curiously ask his colleague.
“Who is that?”
“The one next to Manager Sun.”
“It’s Lu Zhou, didn’t you watch the news?”
“Lu Zhou? The one that won the n.o.bel Prize?”
“Amazing… The n.o.bel Prize laureate is talking about research at our factory, so this must be going on the news tomorrow?”
It wasn’t just the news; it might even cause the stock price to soar.
Superconducting materials wasn’t a popular topic within the A-shares industry. However, once Lu Zhou’s name was involved, the situation was completely different.
After all, everyone in the world knew how hot the lithium battery market was doing.
The engineers whispered a few words to each other. When they saw General Manager Sun’s team walking over, they shut their mouths.
With Engineer Cao leading the way, the German experts walked up to the equipment at the center of the factory. They finally saw the legendary machine that could ma.s.s-produce thousand nanometer-sized graphene nanoribbons.
Simson Eugene had a tinge of suspicion and contempt in his heart when he looked at this featureless machine.
Just looking at it from the outside, he couldn’t believe that this simple equipment could work on the nanometer scale.
However, his face soon began to look more and more dignified. Finally, his eyes were glued to the equipment, and he couldn’t look away.
The lines of silver wires were connected between the two metal plates, and the slightly thinner metal plate was connected to a sieve-looking ring-shaped object, which converged to a thumb-size ring.
Even though the speed of the metal plates opening and closing was as slow as a snail’s movement, it was still producing wires…
Looking at it from the outside, he had no idea how they managed to do it.
Ulic stood next to Eugene as he asked in a serious manner, “Is this it?”
Lu Zhou smiled and explained in a relaxed tone, “This is the core of the entire production process. You can interpret it as the wire drawing machine of the cable production line… However, these two things are completely different in principle.”
Eugene couldn’t help but ask: “Are you sure… this thing is producing graphene wires that are only a few thousand nanometers in width?”
Lu Zhou glanced at him and said, “Listening to me alone isn’t that convincing. If that’s the case, you can take a sample from the product and we can do a test on it together.”
Since Lu Zhou said this, Eugene didn’t hesitate anymore. He walked next to the machine, and with the help of another Chinese engineer, he took a short piece of the SG-1 wire and placed it into his pre-prepared sample bag.
They all walked into the product quality testing room. When the red-haired German engineer saw the scanning electron microscope, he took the initiative to ask.
“Can I do it?”
Lu Zhou made a welcoming gesture. “Of course you can.”
Eugene walked up and carefully inspected the equipment. He placed the sample onto the device and skillfully operated a fine probe through a computer. He aimed at the thousand-nanometer wide SG-1 wire.
Soon after, the probe gave the feedback data to the computer.
Eugene looked at the data collected by the scanning electron microscope and the simulated three-dimensional atomic structure diagram. It wasn’t just Eugene, but even Professor Ulic and the other four German experts looked bewildered.
Eugene couldn’t believe what was happening in front of his eyes; it was like he was grabbing onto his last strand of hope. He then asked, “What about its superconductivity?”
“I knew you would probably ask this.” Lu Zhou looked at the researcher standing next to the scanning electron microscope and said, “Show it to them.”
The wires were removed from the scanning electron microscope and transferred onto another experimental equipment.
The Keithley Model 2182A Nanovoltmeter and Keithley Model 6220 current source were installed on this piece of laboratory equipment, as well as pipelines and temperature controllers for liquid helium.
The final measurement was obvious; the “resistance/temperature” curve quickly fell to the bottom at the exact same time when the transition temperature was met. This was just like the graph Professor Keriber observed at the Inst.i.tute for Advanced Study.
Even though Eugene didn’t want to believe it, he couldn’t help but become thoroughly convinced.
They actually did it…
“Unbelievable… How did you guys do it?”
Lu Zhou: “Simply put, we stack single atomic layers of rhodium metal sheet. After that, we punch holes in it and adjust the overlapping angle. Then, we use the principle of chemical vapor deposition to deposit the SG-1 material into the pores on a macroscopic scale. It’s almost like the resulting graphene nanoribbons are grown into a specific shape… This is the rough process. As for the more specific technical details, Baosheng Group’s engineers will give you a detailed explanation.”
Ulic frowned and asked a more professional question, “Single atomic layer of metal foil? How did you guys guarantee its monoatomic structure?”
Due to the sea of electrons in the metal atoms, it was very difficult for them to form a three-dimensional closely-packed structure. Theoretically, it would be very difficult to prepare a metal foil one atom thick. And even if it were prepared, it would be difficult to guarantee and maintain its monoatomic layer property.
Lu Zhou smiled and said, “We don’t need to do anything special.”
Ulic was stunned. “Don’t need anything special?”
Lu Zhou nodded as he replied, “Yes, there is a special localized large π bond in the enameling metal sheet which stabilizes the monoatomic layer structure.”
This was a research result that only came out in the past two years.
Actually, this was the reason why he chose rhodium.
Even though the price of rhodium was expensive, the monoatomic sheet could be used as a mold for a long time due to the extremely anti-oxidation properties of rhodium. Therefore, the cost was generally acceptable.
As for the exact method to prepare a piece of monocrystalline thick rhodium, it was just like the method he had previously mentioned—by reducing the weak ligand polyvinylpyrrolidone with formaldehyde.
After that, the group of German experts asked many questions, and Lu Zhou answered them one by one. For the theoretical questions that were out of his scope of knowledge, Chief Engineer Cao answered them.
They stayed in the high-tech zone until evening.
When they were leaving, Yang Xu got in the same car as Lu Zhou, and he couldn’t help but speak emotionally.
“I didn’t think that we could conquer the Germans with our technology.”
Lu Zhou smiled as he replied, “Germany’s industry technology is strong, especially in the field of precision machining and automation. We still have a big gap to catch up to. However, they’re not G.o.ds, and you shouldn’t think of them as omnipotent.”
China was behind Germany in many technological developed areas; there was nothing they could do about that. However, since everyone was searching for a way to implement new technology, this meant that all of them had the same starting point.
With the help from the Jinling Inst.i.tute of Computational Materials, Baosheng Group was fortunate enough to be at a starting point ahead of others. If everything went well, with the investment China was putting into controllable nuclear fusion, they could continue to be the world leaders on carbon based superconducting materials.
Maybe in the future, they would even be the leading manufacturing country…
But that wasn’t something Lu Zhou could control.
He was only interested in research.
In the evening, Lu Zhou returned to his mansion at Zhongshan International. He was in his study room and on the phone with Sheng Xianfu, who already arrived in Germany.
“Did you guys arrive safely?”
Sheng Xianfu: “We arrived in Berlin yesterday, and we’re already at Greifswald now.”
“Is the WEGA at Greifswald?”
Lu Zhou recalled back to his last trip to Greifswald; he didn’t remember seeing the WEGA device.
Sheng Xianfu: “Not quite. It’s just that our first training stage will be done at the Wendelstein 7-X laboratory.”
Lu Zhou replied with a joke, “We’re paying €500 million for this training session, so be sure to try your best.”
Professor Sheng, who was holding his phone, nodded seriously.