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Graphene-based inks to 3D print ultralight supercapacitors

Feb 10, 2016

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and UC Santa Cruz have demonstrated what might be the world's first 3D-printed graphene composite aerogel supercapacitor, using a technique known as direct-ink writing. The researchers suggest that their ultra-lightweight graphene aerogel supercapacitors may open the door to novel designs of highly efficient energy storage systems for smartphones, wearables, implantable devices, electric cars and wireless sensors.

3d printed supercaps image

The key factor in developing these novel aerogels is creating an extrudable graphene oxide-based composite ink and modifying the 3D printing method to accommodate aerogel processing. The 3D-printed graphene composite aerogel (3D-GCA) electrodes are lightweight, highly conductive, and exhibit excellent electrochemical properties. Supercapacitors using these 3D-GCA electrodes with thicknesses on the order of millimeters display exceptional capacitive retention (ca. 90% from 0.5 to 10 A·g−1) and power densities (>4 kW·kg−1).

Wrapping graphene oxide around copper nanowires improves its stability in air

Feb 09, 2016

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new solution-based, cost-effective way to wrap reduced graphene oxide around the surface of ultrathin transparent conducting copper nanowires. The technique aims to significantly improve the stability of the wires in air and reduce the amount of light scattered by the materials.

Graphene-oxide to wrap around copper nanowires image

Thin films made of the wires might be used in optoelectronics devices, particularly in displays and flexible electronics. Metal nanowire films could make good replacements for the expensive and brittle indium tin oxide (ITO) in next-generation electronics, thanks to their excellent electrical and optical properties and the fact that they can be easily processed in solution.

Printed graphene oxide makes for interesting electronic devices

Jan 25, 2016

Researchers at the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology have managed to print graphene oxide onto different materials, including paper, and use it as a touch sensitive electronic device. They transferred graphene oxide coated on a wax printed membrane to paper, an adhesive film and even a t-shirt by simply using pressure and water, and also printed graphene oxide onto plastic and, as the oxide conducts electricity, used it as a touch sensitive LED switch.

Printed graphene oxide electronics image

New facility for graphene manufacture and R&D launched by The University of Granada

Jan 22, 2016

The University of Granada in Spain has launched the Graphene and 2D Semiconductors Laboratory, said to be one of the most complete public laboratories devoted to the manufacture and electric and structural characterization of graphene in Europe. This laboratory is supposedly comparable to that of the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) or the one in the University of Stanford (United States).

The new facilities are located in the UGR Research Centre for Information Technology and Communication. With an investment of more than half a million euros, the new laboratory is devoted to the manufacture of all kinds and forms of graphene as well as the development of new graphene-based systems for electronic applications which include biosensors, electronic nanodevices for IoT (Internet of Things) applications, and flexible electronics, in addition to wearable devices.

Graphene oxide's reaction to strain may enable many next-gen applications

Jan 22, 2016

Researchers at Rice University and the State University of Campinas in Brazil have found that random molecules scattered within layers of otherwise pristine graphene affect how the layers interact with each other under strain. The researchers, with flexible electronics in mind, decided to see how graphene oxide “paper” would handle shear strain, in which the sheets are pulled by the ends. Such knowledge is important for applications involving novel advanced materials, especially for making 3D structures from 2D materials, and some applications may include sensors, electronics and biomedical devices. 

Graphene oxide to enable heat-resistant and high-strength resin for lightweight aircraft and rockets

Jan 17, 2016

Researchers at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have developed a highly heat-resistant and high-strength resin based on chemical graphene oxide processing and mixing with universal epoxy. The new material is expected to contribute to the production of lightweight aircraft and rockets.

An epoxy resin is a material that stabilizes the structures of carbon composite materials.The institute found that multiple amine groups present around graphene oxides bond with epoxy resins to result in a number of cross-linked bonds and a 240% improvement in cross-linking density.

Russian scientists develop graphene-based hypersensitive sensors for precise analyses and pre-clinical drug research.

Dec 15, 2015

Scientists at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) are working on creating graphene-based hypersensitive sensors for precise analyses and pre-clinical drug research. While using bio-sensor chips to gather information on the effectiveness and toxicity of future medicine is not a new concept, the researchers in this study have managed to significantly improve the technology.

The researchers substituted the connecting layers in existing chips with a thin film made of graphene plates, which helps increase the precision of the analysis of biochemical reactions almost threefold. It is expected that in some cases the improvement might be 10 or even 100-fold. Substances react to graphene even in minimal concentration, while with hydrogel and sulfur-containing molecules no reaction would be expected. Scientists say that using this method will reduce the time needed for conducting analyses from days to minutes.