Graphene applications: what is graphene used for?

Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern. Graphene is considered to be the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material - of both electricity and heat. All of these properties are exciting researchers and businesses around the world - as graphene has the potential to revolutionize entire industries - in the fields of electricity, conductivity, energy generation, batteries, sensors and more.

Mechanical strength

Graphene is the world's strongest material, and can be used to enhance the strength of other materials. Dozens of researchers have demonstrated that adding even a trace amount of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make these materials much stronger - or lighter (as you can use a smaller amount of material to achieve the same strength).

applications of composites image

Such graphene-enhanced composite materials can find uses in aerospace, building materials, mobile devices, and many other applications.

Thermal applications

Graphene is the most heat conductive found to date. As graphene is also strong and light, it means that it is a great material for making heat-spreading solutions, such as heat sinks or heat dissipation films. This could be useful in both microelectronics (for example to make LED lighting more efficient and longer lasting) and also in larger applications - for example thermal foils for mobile devices. Huawei's latest smartphones, for example, have adopted graphene-based thermal films.

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Energy storage

Since graphene is the world's thinnest material, it also extremely high surface-area to volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material for use in batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene may enable batteries and supercapacitors (and even fuel-cells) that can store more energy - and charge faster, too.

Graphene battery advantages imageThe advantages of graphene batteries

Coatings ,sensors, electronics and more

Graphene has a lot of promise for additional applications: anti-corrosion coatings and paints, efficient and precise sensors, faster and efficient electronics, flexible displays, efficient solar panels, faster DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and more.

Graphene is such a great and basic building block that it seems that any industry can benefit from this new material. Time will tell where graphene will indeed make an impact - or whether other new materials will be more suitable.

The latest Graphene Application news:

PETRONAS launches ProTough+ to enhance composite material strength

Malaysian energy company PETRONAS has launched its third graphene-based solution, ProTough+,  under its Advanced Materials portfolio to capture new growth opportunities in line with its Energy Transition Strategy.

ProTough+ is an additive that enhances the strength of composite materials by improving their mechanical properties to achieve component light weighting, which is key in manufacturing and delivery of lower carbon solutions such as hydrogen mobility. Tests conducted on carbon fiber reinforced polymers enhanced with ProTough+ reportedly demonstrated an increase of more than 35% in tensile strength. This allows stronger composite parts to be manufactured with less materials, thus supporting fabrication of products that are lighter and more economical. 

Read the full story Posted: Jun 23,2024

Researchers design graphene-based thermal regulator that enable safer lithium-ion batteries

Researchers at Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and Zhejiang Sanhua Intelligent Controls Co., have designed a graphene-based thermal-switching material for improving the safety of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) by making sure that they can safely operate at different temperatures and do not explode when overheated.

a) Thermal-switching mechanism of the TSM. b) The self-assembly process through freeze-casting of 2D-flake–microsphere suspensions to form an alternating multilayer scaffold together with polymer infiltration. Image credit: Nature Energy

A general approach to improving the safety of LIBs is using thermal-conducting interlayers, materials designed to even out the temperature between a battery's modules, bringing it to between 15 to 45 °C. To ensure that a high-capacity LIB is safe, these materials should be highly thermally insulating, thus preventing the propagation of heat, while also ensuring that temperature is uniformly distributed in the battery. The research team's newly developed thermal-switching material meets both criteria, and can effectively regulate the temperature in high-capacity batteries. This material rapidly responds to temperature, enabling the safe cycling of batteries in varying operating conditions.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 22,2024

Researchers develop soft robotic gripper using graphene and liquid crystals

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have designed a soft robotic "hand" made from liquid crystals (LCs) and graphene, that could be used to design future surgical robots. 

One of the issues that need to be addressed before such robots can be used in operating rooms is to figure out how to precisely control and move these deformable robots. Also, many current soft robots contain metals, which means that their use in water-rich environments—like the human body—is rather limited.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 22,2024

Archer Biochip gFET design fabricated on a six-inch wafer by Graphenea's foundry

Archer Materials, a semiconductor company advancing the quantum technology and medical diagnostics industries, has fabricated one of its Biochip graphene field effect transistor (gFET) designs through a six-inch whole wafer run by its foundry partner in Spain, Graphenea.

Archer had sent the Biochip gFET design to Graphenea for fabrication through a whole wafer run in Dec 20231. The gFETs are designed with structures suitable for liquid multiplexing, with advances in chip design features, including in gating design and materials, to address technological challenges in maintaining graphene device stability from chip-to-chip.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 17,2024

Researchers develop method to create stretchable and tough graphene films

Researchers have been working on creating elastic and tough graphene films, but it has proven quite challenging so far. Now, researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University have introduced a method to overcome this hurdle: they linked graphene nanolayers via "extendable" bridging structures.

Image credit: Angewandte Chemie

The special properties of graphene nanolayers often drop off when the layers are assembled into foils, because they are only held together by relatively weak interactions—primarily hydrogen bonds. Approaches that attempt to improve the mechanical properties of graphene foils by introducing stronger interactions have only been partially successful, leaving room for improvement in the stretchability and toughness of the materials. The research team, led by Xuzhou Yan at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, chose a new approach: they cross-linked graphene nanolayers with mechanically interlocked molecules whose building blocks are not chemically linked, but rather inseparably spatially entangled. The researchers used rotaxanes as their links.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 16,2024

Gerdau Graphene launches 'NanoCORR Shield' graphene-enhanced anti-corrosion additive for solvent-based paints

Gerdau Graphene has announced the availability of NanoCORR Shield, the newest product from its G2D NanoCORR line of anti-corrosion paints and coatings additives. Developed with Gerdau Graphene's exclusive G2D technology, NanoCORR Shield is a graphene-enhanced chemical additive designed to increase the corrosion resistance of solvent-based paints and coatings. NanoCORR Shield has demonstrated a 30-70% increase in corrosion resistance when subjected to salt spray testing.

The addition of a small amount of specially-developed graphene into paints and coatings allows for an increase in the barrier effect against corrosive elements such as water, oxygen, and chlorides. In addition, NanoCORR reduces paint consumption by reducing the nominal thickness of the coating while maintaining the paint or coatings' other characteristics and performance properties.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 13,2024

Researchers develop new approach for controlling thermal emission

Researchers from the University of Manchester, The Pennsylvania State University, Koç University and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) have tackled the challenge of control of thermal radiation, demonstrating a new topology-based approach.

The team explained that conventional approaches to tailoring thermal emission using metamaterials are hampered both by the limited spatial resolution of the required subwavelength material structures and by the materials’ strong absorption in the infrared. In their recent work, the scientists developed an approach based on the concept of topology: by changing a single parameter of a multilayer coating, they were able to control the reflection topology of a surface, with the critical point of zero reflection being topologically protected. 

Read the full story Posted: Jun 10,2024

Graphmatech and MTC Powder Solutions to collaborate to develop metal-graphene composites through HIP technology

Graphmatech, a materials technology company, and MTC Powder Solutions (MTC PS), a leading company in hot isostatic pressing (HIP), have announced the signing of a cooperation agreement to develop advanced metal-graphene composites for various industrial applications. This partnership aims to offer cutting-edge HIPed metal-graphene solutions to global industries.

Graphmatech's graphene-engineered metal powder combines the exceptional properties of graphene with various metals. This technology brings metals to new levels of performance, making them ideal for applications in electrification, energy-related and high-precision sectors. MTC PS plans to develop and offer HIPed metal-graphene for a wide range of electrification, energy, and Big Science, applications further propelling the transition towards a sustainable future.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 03,2024

Directa Plus and Iterchimica announce selection for resurfacing project for Rome 2025 Jubilee

Directa Plus has announced that its collaboration with Iterchimica to develop and produce Gipave, a Green Asphalt embedded with G+ graphene, has achieved another important milestone - it has been chosen for an extensive resurfacing operation in Rome, ahead of the 2025 Jubilee.

Anas, the Italian public road company, has awarded the contract for a resurfacing operation to cover c.15 kilometers of historical routes, using Gipave technology. Gipave is enriched with Directa Plus' graphene and hard recycled plastics, which increases a roads lifespan by up to 61% compared to current market technologies.

Read the full story Posted: Jun 02,2024

Sparc Technologies announces field trial for its graphene-enhanced Ecosparc coating with South Australian DIT

Sparc Technologies has announced the commencement of ecosparc (its flagship graphene-based additive product) field trials with the South Australian Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT).

The steel piles for the Streaky Bay Jetty remediation project have been delivered to DIT for blasting and coating. Sparc has provided both the ecosparc-enhanced and control coating to DIT and agreed the arrangement of the steel piles on the project. 

Read the full story Posted: May 31,2024