Researchers at the Rice University have devised a process in which a computer-controlled laser burns through a polymer to create flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene that may be suitable for electronics or energy storage. The process works in air at room temperature, cancelling the need for hot furnaces and controlled environments.
The product of this process is not a 2D piece of graphene but a porous foam of interconnected flakes about 20 microns thick. The laser doesn't cut all the way through the base material, so the foam remains attached to a flexible plastic base.
Lomiko Metals, the Canadian company focused on the exploration and development of minerals with aims towards a new green economy, announced signing an agreement to invest in a new graphene-related venture called Graphene Energy Storage Devices (Graphene ESD Corp.) which is a U.S Corporation.
Graphene ESD Corp. has been formed with intentions to commercialize their energy storage technology, as Lomiko recently reported a successful conclusion to phase I of its Graphene Supercapacitor Project with Graphene Laboratories and Stony Brook University.
Researchers from Northwestern University are working on a new type of graphene-enhanced dielectric for semiconductors. A dielectric is an insulating layer that stabilizes the charge carriers in semiconductors, aiming to decrease the voltage that a transistor needs to function and make it more efficient.
Silicon dioxide is usually used as dielectric in semiconductors, but as electronics become smaller the SiO2 becomes thinner and less effective. The researchers aim to solve that problem by creating a dielectric with a greater ability to store charges, by developing a self-assembled nanodielectric (SAND) that is made up of layers of crosslinked organosilane molecules. The SAND works well with both organic and inorganic semiconductors and functions at a lower voltage than traditional dielectrics. That, plus the fact that they can be printed onto plastic surfaces, makes them especially suited for use in a variety of devices.
Scientists from Oregon State University (in collaboration with the Argonne National Laboratory, the University of South Florida and the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Oregon) discovered an innovative way of taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and using it to make a high-value material for use in energy storage products.
The scientists developed a chemical reaction which uses carbon dioxide and results in nanoporous graphene, with an enormous specific surface area. The researchers say this method is fast and low-cost, and the result exhibits great conductivity and density. These traits make it especially suited for use in supercapacitors, even at commercial levels.
The UK based Perpetuus Carbon, producer and global supplier of high quality functionalized graphene, signed a preliminary agreement to achieve full commercial partnership and manufacturing agreement with G24 Power, a leading dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) company from the UK.
Perpetuus is to provide functionalized graphene, in sheet or roll form, for G24’s production of a range of advanced graphene-enabled components. G24 reportedly has manufacturing capabilities of thousands of metres of components per month for use in areas like resistance heating, biosensor platforms, barrier packaging, composite physical reinforcements, water treatment, fuel cell membranes, thermal management and heat dissipation, EMI shielding, electrodes for batteries and supercapacitors and LI-AIR battery cathodes.
Researchers from Rice University and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have developed a lightweight supercapacitor that can be combined with regular batteries to boost the power of an electric car.
This supercapacitor is made of graphene films as the electrodes and carbon nanotube films as current collectors, resulting in a device that demonstrates energy densities of 8-14 watt-hours per kilogram, and power densities of 250-450 kilowatts per kilogram.
The Oxford-based startup Zapgocharger Ltd has recently gone public with a crowdfunding initiative to raise money for the development and production of the Zap&Go portable charger for phones and tablets. The charger is meant to sport a graphene supercapacitor which will enable on-the-go charging of the device after plugging the charger into a specialized power supply for just 5 minutes (the charger will reportedly be able to take a 1,500mAh charge).
At the time this post was written, the company has already reached (more than doubled, actually!) their $30,000 goal. The Zap&Go charger’s launching price will reportedly be $150, but it is now offered at $99. Estimated delivery, as per the company, is October 2015.