Haydale income in H2 2015 rose 63%, net loss was £1.9 million

Haydale logoHaydale announced financial results for the second half of 2015 (H1 FY2016). Total income rose to £800,000 (up 63% from the second half of 2014) and the net loss after tax was £1.9 million (up from £1.5 million in H2 2014).

Haydale also reports significant (£500,000) R&D investment particularly in respect of graphene enhanced resins for the composite markets. At the end of December 2015, cash at hand was £5.0 million (up from £2.0 million at the end of June 2014 following Haydale's recent fund raising).

Novel technique used to study graphene's response to air

A group of scientists from NPL, Chalmers University of Technology and the US Naval Research Laboratory have used a novel technique to examine the effects of ambient air on graphene in a controlled environment, in order to characterize its response. As graphene is sensitive to a wide variety of chemicals, it is vital for graphene-based sensors to differentiate between the changes that are caused by the target gas and those caused by the natural environment.

The researchers investigated the effects of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and nitrogen dioxide (in concentrations typically present in ambient air) on epitaxial graphene inside a controlled environmental chamber. All measurements were taken at NPL by applying Kelvin probe force microscopy whilst simultaneously performing transport (resistance) measurements. This novel combination gave researchers the unique ability to connect the local and global electronic properties together, a task that has proven to be difficult in the past.

Graphene and light could be used together to purify water

Researchers at Monash University have designed a simple and effective way of capturing graphene and the toxins and contaminants they attract from water, by using light. This technique could have important ramifications for large-scale water purification.

In this work, a special light-sensitive soap was added to the water containing the graphene and contaminants. The soap changes its molecular structure when light of a particular color is shone onto it. This changes the way it interacts with the graphene and causes it to separate (along with contaminants stuck to them), enabling easier extraction of the graphene and contaminants. Shining a different colored light re-disperses the graphene for re-use.

CVD Equipment will cooperate with Penn State University to advance device development for graphene and additional 2D materials

CVD Equipment, a provider of chemical vapor deposition systems, announced the next phase in its industrial partnership with Penn State University to advance 2D crystal device development.

The National Science Foundation’s Materials Innovation Platform (MIP) recently announced that it has awarded Penn State University (PSU) $17.8 million payable over five years. This award will fund a national user facility, based at PSU’s Materials Research Institute, for developing new materials for next generation electronics. CVD will contribute through supply and development of equipment required for synthesizing the 2D materials at wafer scale. The promise of emerging 2D materials, including graphene, boron nitride, and transition metal dichalcogenides, for revolutionizing the semiconductor and electronic device industries is reinforced by this platform award from the National Science Foundation. The user facility at PSU will aim to synthesize 2D crystals for use in faster, more energy efficient, and flexible electronics.

Crumpled graphene may benefit self-cleaning surfaces and batteries

Researchers at Brown University have demonstrated that graphene, wrinkled and crumpled in a multi-step process, becomes significantly better at repelling water - a property that could be useful in making self-cleaning surfaces. Crumpled graphene also has enhanced electrochemical properties, which could make it more useful as electrodes in batteries and fuel cells.

The researchers aimed to build relatively complex architectures incorporating both wrinkles and crumples. To do that, the researchers deposited layers of graphene oxide onto shrink films -polymer membranes that shrink when heated. As the films shrink, the graphene on top is compressed, causing it to wrinkle and crumple. To see what kind of structures they could create, the researchers compressed same graphene sheets multiple times. After the first shrink, the film was dissolved away, and the graphene was placed in a new film to be shrunk again.

Coal company takes controlling interest in Imagine IM, which also plans to build graphene manufacturing plant

Imagine Intelligent Materials, the Australian developer of graphene-based coatings for industrial textiles and fibres, has entered into a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with Pacific American Coal, according to which PAK will take a controlling interest in Imagine IM.

PAK will set out to raise $1.58 million from investors; Following completion of the Initial Acquisition, PAK will acquire shares in Imagine IM from Imagine’s existing shareholders. Final completion of the HOA deal must occur on or before 30 June 2016.

Graphene-enhanced patch may revolutionize diabetes treatment

Researchers at the Korean Institute for Basic Science (IBS) have developed a wearable graphene-based biomedical device capable of sweat-based glucose monitoring and controlling. The diabetes patch comprises of an electronic chemical sensor that measures glucose levels using human sweat and microneedles that automatically inject medication, posing a real breakthrough for the treatment of diabetes, and possibly other chronic diseases as it will be able to remove the pain and inconvenience that traditional methods inflict.

The researchers improved the device’s detecting capabilities by integrating electrochemically active and soft functional materials on the hybrid of gold-doped graphene and a serpentine-shape gold mesh. The device’s pH and temperature monitoring functions enable systematic corrections of sweat glucose measurements as the enzyme-based glucose sensor is affected by pH (blood acidity levels) and temperature. The connection of the device to a portable power supply and data transmission unit enables the point-of-care treatment of diabetes. The drug (metformin) system consists of microneedles, a temperature sensor and a heater.

Graphene can be used to make safer lithium-metal batteries

Researchers at Tsinghua University, China have devised a graphene-based nanostructured lithium metal anode for lithium metal batteries, to inhibit dendrite growth and improve electrochemistry performance.

New lithium metal anode batteries, like Li-S and Li-air batteries, are highly sought after, as lithium metal provides an extremely high theoretical specific capacity, which is almost 10 times more energy than graphite. The problem is that the practical applications of lithium metals are significantly hindered by lithium dendrite growth in continuous cycles. This induces safety concerns since it may cause internal short circuits resulting in fire. Furthermore, the formation of lithium dendrites induces very low cycling efficiency. This is why inhibiting the dendrites growth, as was attempted by the researchers in this study, is highly expected.

Novalia and CGC develop graphene-based inks for high-speed manufacturing of printed electronics

Researchers at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with Cambridge-based technology company Novalia, developed a method that allows graphene and other electrically conducting materials to be added to conventional water-based inks and printed using typical commercial equipment.

The method works by suspending tiny particles of graphene in a ‘carrier’ solvent mixture, which is added to conductive water-based ink formulations. The ratio of the ingredients can be adjusted to control the liquid’s properties, allowing the carrier solvent to be easily mixed into a conventional conductive water-based ink to significantly reduce the resistance. The same method works for materials other than graphene, including metallic, semiconducting and insulating nanoparticles.

Hazer Group enters agreements to accelerate development of graphene production technology

Hazer Group, an early stage development company, has announced a new agreement with the University of Western Australia (UWA) to develop Hazer technology for production of graphene. The project will focus on further tailoring of the Hazer Process reaction (a hydrogen and graphite production process) to improve the yield and quality of graphene produced.

Under the agreement, Hazer will fund the development work which will see the University provide a full time researcher to work with the company. Hazer's Managing Director stated that the company will own all intellectual property developed through the collaboration and all the intellectual property associated with the Hazer Process royalty. The collaboration work with UWA will aim to enable Hazer to undertake further work on developing the Hazer Process into a commercial route to produce graphene.