Group NanoXplore announces establishment of European subsidiary

Group NanoXplore, a Montreal-based company specializing in the production and application of graphene and its derivative materials, announced the establishment of a European subsidiary. The new NanoXplore GmbH offices are located in Mainz, Germany in close proximity to the Frankfurt International Airport and in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate (the center of the German chemical and plastics processing industry).

Scientists design a new process that forms 3D shapes from flat sheets of graphene

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new approach for forming 3D shapes from flat sheets of graphene. This technique may open the door to future integrated systems of graphene-MEMS hybrid devices and flexible electronics.

The study demonstrated graphene integration to a variety of different microstructured geometries, including pyramids, pillars, domes, inverted pyramids, and the 3D integration of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs)/graphene hybrid structures. The flexibility and 3D nature of the structures could enable biosensing devices which can be made in various shapes and carry many biological functions. The scientists also expect that the new 3D integration approach will facilitate advanced classes of hybrid devices between microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and 2D materials for sensing and actuation.

Focus Graphite announces two offtake agreements with Grafoid

Grafoid logoFocus Graphite has announced entering into two offtake agreements with Grafoid, a leader in graphene application development. The company stated that the agreements safeguard the security of future revenue for Focus Graphite’s Lac Knife project as well as push forward the commercialization of Grafoid’s Mesograf™ product applications.

The first agreement (also referred to as the “Energy Offtake”) commits Grafoid to acquire, at its discretion, up to an annual maximum of 1,000 tonnes of high-purity large flake graphite concentrate annually from the Lac Knife Project for 10 years, representing up to 6.8% of the projected annual production of 14,606 tonnes of high-purity large flake concentrate. The initial terms of the Energy Offtake agreement dictate that Grafoid would pay Focus Graphite C$1 million (around $810, 000) over a 12-month period, with the first payment being on or before September 30, 2015, for the right of first refusal to purchase up to the annual maximum of 1,000 tonnes and would also give Grafoid the first right of refusal to extend and expand the offtake agreement for an additional 10-year period. The pricing for an additional 10-year period will be set at market price less 10%.

Western Mining Network to purchase 51% of Korean graphene manufacturer Carbon Nano-Material Technology

Western Mining Network has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire up to 51% in South Korean refined graphite and graphene carbon materials manufacturer Carbon Nano-Material Technology.

The acquisition is Western Mining’s first step in its long-term strategy to supplement its in-house technology and know-how with complementary third party technology and expertise in order to capture more of the carbon value chain. The alliance with WMN will both assure Carbon Nano-Material Technology of stable supplies of graphite and help it build its own manufacturing as well as research and development capacity. In turn WMN is extending its reach into the downstream sector and acquiring valuable technology and expertise to help it derive greater revenue and higher margins from its resource base rather than being merely a commodity supplier.

ETRI scientists develop graphene-based textile sensor for gas detection

A team of scientists from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Korea announced the successful development of a technology to make a washable, flexible and highly-sensitive textile-type gas sensor.

This technology is based on coating graphene using molecular adhesives to textile like nylon, cotton, or polyester so that textile can check whether or not gas exists in the air. When graphene oxides meet the NO2 found in methane gases at room temperatures, their resistivity changes based on the gas density. Consequently, when putting out a fire or entering an area in which air conditions are hard to determine, it will be possible for firefighters to check the condition of the air through a connected device by wearing work clothes with gas sensors made from textiles.

Graphensic launches graphene-based resistance standard

Graphensic, the Linkoping University spin-off and supplier of graphene on silicon carbide (SiC), launched a graphene-based resistance standard called the GRS, aimed at utilizing the ability to observe the quantum Hall effect at relatively low magnetic fields and high temperatures.

The GRS offers a solution to perform precise and relatively simple calibrations of the electrical resistance in terms of the quantum Hall effect. It is equipped with a superconducting magnet and comes with a graphene-based QHE chip. The only complementary equipment needed is a liquid helium storage dewar to provide the needed refrigeration. After the GRS is connected to a measurement system, resistance measurements can start within an hour. Since the GRS is not cumbersome in size, it allows the convenient performance of on-site comparisons of the quantum Hall resistance standard.

Graphene 3D Lab and Ideum enter agreement to collaborate on product development

Graphene 3D Labs logoGraphene 3D Lab announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Ideum, a company situated in New-Mexico which develops large-scale smart-tables and walls. The agreement lays the foundation for joint research, product development, and marketing between the two companies.

Graphene 3D and Ideum will evaluate and co-develop products by Graphene 3D which can be used as capacitive sensors to interface with Ideum's products. Graphene 3D will also begin commercial on-demand 3D printing of coasters, joysticks, and styluses which Ideum clients can use to interact with their smart-tables. For example, styluses of various shapes, 3D printed in Conductive Graphene Filament, may be used as brushes used in photo editing software to give a more hands-on feel to creative work done on an Ideum smart-table.

Haydale signs reactor supply agreement with CPI

Haydale announced inking a deal to supply the Centre for Process and Innovation (CPI) in the UK with its HT60 reactor, which is expected to be fully operational by October 2015. The deal will produce an initial revenue of ₤170,000 for Haydale. Haydale successfully tendered for the supply agreement and will deliver a standard HT60 R&D reactor later this month and then provide training and technical support to CPI. Following this deal, Haydale is looking to concentrate on its commercialization strategy over the next year, with the U.S market a key area of growth.

CPI is a UK-based technology innovation centre and part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. CPI has recently committed £14 million to create the UK’s Graphene Applications Innovation Centre. The new centre will build on existing capabilities at CPI and will provide facilities and expertise to help companies to develop, prove, prototype and scale up graphene based products and processes.

Wrapping graphene around wires may boost chip speeds

A series of Stanford-led experiments demonstrate that graphene may be able to replace tantalum nitride as a sheathing material for chip wires, to help electrons move through the copper wires more quickly. The scientists say that using graphene to wrap wires could allow transistors to exchange data faster than is currently possible and the advantages of using graphene could become even greater in the future, as transistors continue to reduce in size.

The protective layer isolates the copper from the silicon on the chip and also serves to conduct electricity. Its significance is great since it keeps the copper from migrating into the silicon transistors and rendering them non-functional. Graphene has several advantages for this kind of application: the scientists could use a layer eight times thinner than the industry-standard and get the same effect, and the graphene also acts as a barrier to prevent copper atoms from infiltrating the silicon. The Stanford experiment showed that graphene could perform this isolating role while also serving as an auxiliary conductor of electrons. Its structure allows electrons to move from one carbon atom to another, down the wire, while effectively containing the copper atoms within the copper wire. 

Researchers measure crystal vibrations in graphene

An international research team, led by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, has developed a technique for measuring crystal vibrations in graphene. 

Tunneling electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope tip excites phonons in graphene. The image shows the graphene lattice with blue arrows indicating the motion direction of that carbon atoms for one of the low energy phonon modes in graphene. (ImageTunneling electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope tip excites phonons in graphene. The image shows the graphene lattice with blue arrows indicating the motion direction of that carbon atoms for one of the low energy phonon modes in graphene. (Image

In graphene, like in other crystals, when enough heat or other energy is applied, the forces that bond the atoms together cause the atoms to vibrate and spread the energy throughout the material. These vibrations, which have frequencies in the terahertz-range, are called phonons. Understanding phonon interactions can help gain knowledge on how to manipulate energy in a material, and can be crucial since learning effective ways to remove heat energy is vital to the continued miniaturization of electronics.