Graphene allows passage of protons, which could prove valuable for clean energy uses

Researchers led by Prof. Andre Geim discovered that graphene, impermeable to gases and liquids, allows protons to pass. This is a breakthrough discovery that could make graphene suitable for use as a proton-conducting membrane, essential in fuel cell technology.

The scientists were surprised to find out that protons manage to pass through graphene with relative ease, especially in high temperatures, because graphene usually demonstrates barrier-like qualities. Fuel cells use oxygen and hydrogen as fuel and convert the input chemical energy unto electricity, with a significant issue of fuel leaks across traditional proton membranes (thus reducing efficiency). The scientists claim graphene membranes may fix that problem and make create much more efficient fuel cells.

Will we soon see a graphene-enhanced smartwatch?

In a pending Indiegogo crowd-funding project, Czech technology developers aim to use graphene's conductivity, flexibility and strength to make a smartwatch with estimated delivery is May 2015. While this project sounds intriguing, and Graphene-info's staff will be first in line for it if it comes out, this does sound a bit far fetched. 

The watch, called "uGear PeaClock", is currently in developement and will sport a cool futuristic look and all of the usual smartwatch abilities, including several unusual ones: a holographic keyboard projected onto any surface, graphene shifting body, 1080p HD OLED display and more. 

New water dispersible graphene product by 2-DTech

The British company 2-DTech, maker and supplier of 2D materials that was spun-off by the University of manchester, started selling graphene in water dispersible form.

The company developed a technique which makes it possible to manufacture graphene products in a solution using water and isopropanol (IPA). This should have various commercial and logistical benefits, and hopefully assist in bringing forth developemnts and innovations in graphene applications.

Graphene to enable super-strong body armour

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst studied the way graphene absorbs kinetic energy and discovered that it might be extremely efficient in preventing bullet penetration.

The researchers constructed a miniature ballistics test, using a laser pulse to superheat gold filaments until they vaporised, acting like gunpowder to fire a micron-size glass bullet into 10-100 sheets of graphene at 3000 meters per second.

Graphene 3D printing using liquid developed by Korean scientists

Researchers from the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institue (KERI) managed to create an innovative process of 3D printing graphene nanostructures.

The scientists announced the development of a nanoscale 3D printing approach that exploits a liquid meniscus of ink to create 3D reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanowires, different than typical methods that use filaments or powders as printing materials.

Wearable graphene strain sensor for sound signal acquisition and recognition

Chinese researchers developed and tested a highly sensitive wearable sensor, made of woven thin films of graphene on elastic polymer/double sided tape film, for sound signal acquisition and recognition.

(a) Key steps of preparing the graphene strain sensor; (b) Three ways of collecting and recognizing human voices; (c) Photograph of a bent strain sensor; (d) SEM image of GWFs; (e) Signals of vocalization (black) and un-vocalization (red) are nearly overl(a) Key steps of preparing the graphene strain sensor; (b) Three ways of collecting and recognizing human voices; (c) Photograph of a bent strain sensor; (d) SEM image of GWFs; (e) Signals of vocalization (black) and un-vocalization (red) are nearly overl

When the sensor is stretched, random cracks appear and decrease the current pathway (increasing the resistance). The film could therefore act as a strain sensor and can be, for instance, put on human throats to measure a person's words through detection of muscle movement, even without actual words being sounded.

Graphene might be better than silicon as substrate for polymer films, with many possible organic electronics application

Researchers at the Swedish Umea University revealed that semiconducting polymers, placed on a layer of graphene, transport electrical charges more efficiently than when the same polymer is placed on a silicon substrate.

The researchers say that graphene enhances the charge transport through the polymer film, making it potentially useful for producing more efficient electronic devices like organic solar cells, OLEDs and more.

Will Nokia prototype graphene-based optical sensors in the near future?

Nokia logoNokia, based in Finland and functions as a large multinational corporation, has recently published a job opening that raises the notion that it might move towards the prototyping phase of graphene-based sensors.

Nokia, which is known to be working on the R&D relating to optical sensors and has already patented a graphene-based photo detector in the past, published a job opening seeking "an expert in optoelectronics" that will be respnosible for developing graphene devices  to create the basis for a range of optical sensor products. The ad also stresses the need for capabilities pertaining to fabrication of devices that are capable of volume production.

Graphenea and IK4-Tekniker collaborate to improve graphene production process

Graphenea logoThe Spanish company Graphenea, focused on the production of high quality graphene for industrial applications, is working with Spanish alliance of R&D centers IK4-Tekniker to jointly design automate graphene production precess.

Their objective is to design a more automated, standardisable, scalable and reliable production process, since the production of graphene sheets is often difficult and laborious.

Will graphene-based drones arrive in 2015?

It is well within the realm of gossip, but too interesting to pass on: rumor has it that a Chinese based international company called DJI is planning to come out with a drone called DJI Inspire Graphene around March-April 2015.

The multi-rotor aircraft is said to have graphene used in components like frame, arms and props to achieve light-weight and stiffness, but also in the drone's battery, for more capacity, faster loading and longevity. The battery part seems especially hard to believe as graphene batteries have not yet been commercially used.