Archer Exploration develops graphene-enhanced inks

Archer Exploration, in collaboration with The University of Adelaide, has developed graphene-based conductive inks derived from Archer’s Campoona graphite deposit. The inks produced were used to print electronic circuits with an inkjet printer, later using a laser-scribed printer for the preparation of basic electrode patterns.

Archer graphene inks used to print circuits imageCentimetre-sized printed graphene electronics (electrodes) on plastic (polyethylene terephthalate) using graphene inks derived from Archer’s Campoona graphite

The graphene inks were reportedly prepared using a combination of established methods and proprietary methods that took advantage of the superior physical and chemical properties of Archer’s Campoona graphite. The rheological properties of inks are yet to be tested and optimized, and are the subject of the ongoing collaboration. The Company stated that the results of the work will be used to secure intellectual property rights to commercially viable technology integrating printed graphene componentry for biosensing devices.

Graphene-skinned aircraft is given first airing

Scientists have unveiled Juno: a three-and-a-half-meter wide graphene-skinned aircraft that was given it’s first public airing on the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) stand as part of the ‘Futures Day’ at Farnborough Air Show. Haydale has supplied the enhanced prepreg material used to make the Juno.

Juno graphene-skinned aircraft image

The unmanned vehicle was developed in a partnership between Haydale, an aerospace engineering team from the University of Central Lancashire, the Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Center and the University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute. The partners have been working on the project to get the super lightweight plane ready for action. Billy Beggs, UCLan’s Engineering Innovation Manager, said: “The industry reaction to Juno at Farnborough was superb with many positive comments about the work we’re doing". “Having Juno at one the world’s biggest air shows demonstrates the great strides we’re making in leading a program to accelerate the uptake of graphene and other nano-materials into industry". He added: “The program supports the objectives of the UK Industrial Strategy and the University’s Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) to increase industry relevant research and applications linked to key local specialisms. Given that Lancashire represents the fourth largest aerospace cluster in the world, there is perhaps no better place to be developing next generation technologies for the UK aerospace industry.”

Researchers turn graphene into a molecular toggle switch

A team of researchers from Denmark, Italy and Portugal recently discovered a new mechanism for controlling electronic devices using molecules. The researchers have shown that the ferroelectric ordering of polar molecules attached to the edge of graphene can be toggle-switched by an electrostatic gate and can be used for memory devices and sensors.

turning graphene into a molecular toggle switch image

Molecular electronics aims to use individual molecules to control electronics. The large library of molecules and techniques to modify them can create more sophisticated electronics than previously thought possible. The normal hindrance is the small size of the molecules. It's possible to create them, but they are incredibly difficult to handle. It is almost impossible to manipulate small enough features in ordinary materials to electrically connect with individual molecules.

IBS team uses camphor to measure the tensile strength of centimeter-scale monolayer graphene films

Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) have measured the tensile strength of centimeter-scale monolayer graphene films, using camphor - a chemical that easily volatilizes at room temperature - as a temporary support layer. The mechanical properties of monolayer graphene pieces bigger than a few micrometers have never been tested, simply because moving such an ultrathin film to a standard testing apparatus has not been possible.

Camphor-assisted testing system image

In this study, camphor is used as a transient support, and what differentiates it from conventional methods is that it is sublimed away in air at room temperature naturally, or at higher temperatures for faster processing. Thanks to this method, ultrathin films with an area larger than 1 cm x 1 cm are transferred without damage, then the camphor layer disappears in the air without leaving traces. In this way, tensile measurements were made on centimeter-scale 300 nm-thick graphene oxide film specimens, almost ten times thinner than previously reported. It was also possible to work with a graphene oxide film that was only 35 nm thick, and suspend it over a 1 cm x 1 cm hole.

First Graphene enters agreement to supply graphene to FlexeGRAPH for advanced cooling products

First Graphene logo imageFlexeGRAPH logoFirst Graphene has announced a collaboration agreement with FlexeGRAPH to supply graphene for suitability testing in their products. FlexeGRAPH is developing advanced coolant technology using graphene-enhanced heat transfer fluids.

The nanofluid coolant technologyis said by the Company to represent a breakthrough in liquid coolants, establishing a new standard and showing up to 60% improvements in thermal conductivity over current competitors.

New method produces graphene by exfoliating graphite with sugars

Scientists in Spain and Italy have developed a new approach for making few-layer graphene using a mechanochemical technique that exfoliates graphite with carbohydrates. This method could pose a "greener" alternative to the common method that involves exfoliating graphite using sonication that requires the use of toxic solvents.

Green method to produce graphene image

A major drawback of using graphene for biological applications is its poor stability in aqueous systems. "Graphene is a strongly hydrophobic material, which aggregates in water and precipitates. To study graphene in biological media, it needs to be dispersed in aqueous solutions, without the use of toxic detergents" explains Ester Vázquez from the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. Now, Vázquez’s team has devised a new environmentally-friendly method for making graphene that could also make it easier to investigate in biological studies.

Scientists design a graphene-based artificial synapse modeled after the human brain

A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have developed a graphene-based "artificial synapse" that does not process information like a digital computer but rather mimics the analog way the human brain completes tasks. The synapse reportedly demonstrated excellent energy efficiency comparable to biological synapses.

Scientists design a graphene-based artificial synapse modeled after the human brain image

"The analog nature and massive parallelism of the brain are partly why humans can outperform even the most powerful computers when it comes to higher order cognitive functions such as voice recognition or pattern recognition in complex and varied data sets," explains Dr. Xiong, author of the study.

XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009