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Graphene is the world's strongest, thinnest and most conductive material, made from carbon. Graphene's remarkable properties enable exciting new applications in electronics, solar panels, batteries, medicine, aerospace, 3D printing and more!

Recent Graphene news:

Spanish university develops graphene-based catalysts for the energy industry

Researchers at the Spanish Universitat Jaume I have developed graphene-based materials that can catalyse reactions for the conversion and storage of energy. The technology combines graphene and organometallic compounds in a single material without altering graphene's properties like electrical conductivity.

The technology is expected to be of great interest to the energy industry and is part of what is known as "hydrogen economy", an alternative energetic model in which energy is stored as hydrogen. In this regard, the materials (patented by the UJI) allow catalysing reactions for obtaining hydrogen from alcohols and may also serve as storage systems of this gas.

Graphene oxide's inherent defects provide a mechanical surprise

Scientists at Northwestern University have found how graphene oxide's inherent defects may present an interesting mechanical property. It seems that graphene oxide exhibits remarkable plastic deformation before breaking; While graphene is very strong, it can still break suddenly. It was found that graphene oxide, however, will deform first before eventually breaking.

The researchers used an experimentation and modeling approach to examine the mechanics of GO at the atomic level. Their discovery could potentially unlock the secret to successfully scaling up graphene oxide, an area that has been limited because its building blocks have not been well understood. 

High temperature reduction process increases thermal conductivity of rGO

A collaborative research performed by scientists from UC Riverside, Moldova State University, and Graphenea demonstrates that a method of reducing graphene oxide to graphene via a high-temperature treatment that increases thermal conductivity along the film direction, while decreasing it across the film. The scientists stress the potential of using this method for thermal management applications, such as fillers in thermal interface materials or flexible heat spreaders for cooling electronics. 

Heated rGO for thermal management applications

The research shows that thermal conductivity of GO can be majorly increased (nearly 30 times) by bringing GO to a high temperature during a reduction process. It appears that GO, when heated to 1000°C, turns to reduced GO (rGO) that has a high thermal conductivity along the sheet plane. In contrast, thermal conductivity perpendicular to the sheet shows an opposite trend, decreasing with thermal treatment.

Graphene can greatly improve the through-thickness of composites

Scientists at the University of Bristol, in collaboration with Haydale, studied the effects of adding nanoscale reinforcements like graphene nanoplatelets and CNTs to metals in hopes of improving their through-thickness.

Haydale poster - fracture toughness of multi-scale composites

They discovered that through-thickness could indeed be greatly improved, thus solving a major hindrance of composites that are otherwise known as having many superior properties. The results of this study may benefit fields that require light materials that are also durable, like the aerospace industry.

Graphene can act as a protective layer for 2D materials otherwise sensitive to air

Scientists at the University of Manchester demonstrated how tailored fabrication methods can make a variety of previously inaccessible 2D materials available - by solving the problem of their negative reaction in air. 

Graphene acts as protective layer for air sensitive 2D materials image

To do that, the scientists protected the reactive crystals with more stable 2D materials like  graphene, via computer control in a specially designed inert gas chamber environments. The technique allowed these materials to be successfully isolated to a single atomic layer for the first time. Combining a range of 2D materials in thin stacks gives scientists the opportunity to control the properties of the materials, which can allow “materials-to-order” to meet the demands of industry. It could allow for many more atomically thin materials to be studied separately as well as serve as building blocks for multilayer devices with tailored properties.

Graphene grown from tea tree extract shows great promise

Scientists at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, and collaborators from institutions in Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the US have developed a new technique for growing graphene from tea tree extract. Graphene is only made of carbon atoms, so theoretically can be grown from any carbon source, but scientists are still looking for a graphene precursor and growth method that is sustainable, scalable, and economically feasible, since these are all requirements for realizing widespread commercialization of graphene-based devices.

Graphene produces out of tea tree extract image

In this study, the researchers have grown graphene from the tea tree plant Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant used to make essential oils in traditional medicine. They demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate large-area, nearly defect-free graphene films from tea tree oil in as little as a few seconds to a few minutes, whereas current growth methods usually take several hours. Unlike current methods, the new method also works at relatively low temperatures, does not require catalysts, and does not rely on methane or other nonrenewable, toxic, or explosive precursors.

Understanding graphene's affinity towards water may open the door to tailored coatings

Scientists at The National Physical Laboratory's (NPL) have been investigating the hydrophobicity of epitaxial graphene, which could be used in the future to better tailor graphene coatings to applications in medicine, electronics and more. Contrary to popular beliefs, the scientists' findings indicate that graphene's hydrophobicity is strongly thickness-related, with single-layer graphene being significantly more hydrophilic than its multi-layered graphene.

As graphene-based devices will have to operate in ambient conditions with existing (and unmonitored) humidity, it may be troublesome that such conditions can affect graphene's performance through changes in its mechanical and electrical properties; The new study, conducted in collaboration with the Naval Research Laboratory, addresses the question of whether graphene is hydrophobic or hydrophilic. The common assumption is that graphene is hydrophobic, but it seems that the results of this study prove the question more complex than previously thought.

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