The University of Wollongong spins-out graphene production technology

The University of Wollongong from NSW, Australia, developed a new patented process to manufacture surfactant-free graphene. The University licensed the technology to newly founded NanoCarbon Pty Limited (not to be confused with Poland's Nano-Carbon) which will commercialize the technology.

NanoCarbon aims to start producing graphene in 2015 in Australia in a pilot line. Until then, they will source the graphene materials from the University. The company will also be involved with graphene applications - such as high barrier films, lithium ion batteries, and water purification.

Graphene can enhance bio-chemical sensors based on silicon waveguides

Researchers from the University of Manchester developed a new way to modify the transmission of light that goes through a silicon wire (waveguide) - by wrapping graphene around the wire. Such silicon waveguide can be used to build a photonic microchip, and have also applications in highly sensitive bio-chemical sensor devices and perhaps photo detectors too.

The waveguides in this research are built in loops shaped like oval racetracks - and are called racetrack resonators. In a bio-chemical sensor, the light that leaks out of the waveguide is used for chemical sensing. The graphene coating adds further capabilities to such a sensor, such as making it more sensitive and selective. The researchers say that the graphene dramatically alters the way the light is guided through the device.

Graphene enables high-quality GaN on silicon

Graphenea demonstrated how gallium nitride (GaN) can be grown on silicon using graphene as an intermediary layer. GaN (and other semiconductors) are very appealing for applications such as LEDs, lasers and high-frequency and high-power transistors, and silicon is a great substrate for this, but it is very difficult to grown high-quality epitaxial GaN films on Si(100).

Graphene (in collaboration with MIT,Ritsumeikan University, Seoul National University and Dongguk University) found out that graphene can be used as an intermediary layer in such a structure. The hexagonal lattice of graphene has the same symmetry as that of GaN, and it can also be easily transferred to a silicon wafer. The company's method results in the best GaN(0001) layers on Si(100) demonstrated to date.

Doping Graphene with Lithium enables highest performing conductive transparent film

Researchers discovered that lithium-doped graphene sheets (3-60 layers in thickness) result in the highest ever sheet resistance and transmittance ever reported for continuous thin-films. This may prove to be an important step towards an ITO replacement for touch panels and solar cells.

The lithium was inserted between the graphene layers. As a result of this electrochemical intercalation, the Fermi level is upshifted by the doping effect, resulting in a more transparent and conductive material.

MicroDrop technologies is testing graphene for nano printing and 3D printing

Germany-based Microdrop Technologies (a private provider of equipment, software and services for advanced precision microdispensing and inkjet printing applications) reports that they tested graphene for for applications in micro printing, 3D printing and other related applications - and it exhibited excellent quality and characteristics.

The company will now start advanced tests for applications such as conductive inks, biochips, biomedicine and nanocoatings. Microdrop used graphene supplied by Australia-based miner company Talga Resources. This is Talga's first graphene sale.

New cabron-based sponge enables most efficient solar steam power generation device

Researchers from MIT developed a carbon-based sponge that can be used to make a steam-based energy generation device. They say that such a device can reach an energy efficiency of 85%, better than current solar-powered commercial devices.

The newly developed sponge is made from a combination of graphite flakes and carbon foam. It floats on water, and when sunlight hits it, it creates a hotspot which draws up water through the pores in the material, which evaporates as steam. The process generates very little heat and can produce steam at low solar intensity (the lowest optical concentration reported thus far).

Graphene Frontiers raises $1.6 million, launches GFET-based chemical and biological sensors

Graphene Frontier, spun off from the University of Pennsylvania, is producing graphene using their own Atmospheric Pressure CVD (APCVD) technology, a roll-to-roll process that does not require a vacuum. We now hear that the company raised $1.6 million in Series Seed B funding.

The round was led by Trimaran Capital Partners with participation from R2M Investments and return backers WEMBA 36 Angels. Graphene Frontiers will use the money to hire additional researchers, expand the lab facilities and accelerate the development of their proprietary GFET sensors and manufacturing process.

A new method produces well-defined high-quality nano graphene flakes

Researchers from Spain's University of Santiago de Compostela and IBM developed an extremely simple method to make high-quality well-defined nano graphene flakes from perylene, a common organic compound.

The new method uses arynes as molecular glue to paste graphene fragments together. This results in "clover-shaped" graphene flakes that are deposited on thin insulating films. It is possible to create those nano flakes in different sizes and shapes.

Graphene Technologies and Stratasys to co-develop graphene-enhanced 3D printing materials

Graphene Technologies and Stratasys announced a partnership to co-develop graphene-enhanced 3D-printing materials. Graphene Technologies, established in 2007 in California, developed a unique patented and eco-friendly way to synthesize graphene from carbon dioxide. Stratasys is a leading 3D printing company, worth over $5 billion.

The US-Israeli BIRD Foundation will help fund this development effort. The foundation recently approved 11 projects worth $8.9 million (with additional $16 million in private sector funds). We do not know how much of that $8.9 was allocated for the graphene project.