Graphene-Info readers get a 20% discount for China's upcoming Printed and Flexible electronics conference

On January 11-13 Shanghai will host the annual Printed and Flexible Electronics China conference, organized by Demand-LED. This event aims to bring together industry professionals for a chance to be updated on the latest printed electronics advances, while getting a chance to network with industry leaders in China - and globally.

The event focuses on several topics (or tracks), and these include graphene, energy harvesting and storage, printed sensors, OLEDs, quantum dots, wearables and more. Demand-LED were kind enough to offer a 20% discount for Graphene-Info readers - and this applies both to visitors and exhibitors. Contact us for more information on how to get this special discount.

Valleytronics research advances thanks to bi-layer graphene

Researchers from Penn State University demonstrated a new device, based on bi-layer graphene, that provides an experimental proof of the ability to control electron-flow by the valley degree of freedom. Valleytronics is a new field of science that aims to create devices that use electron's valley degree of freedom (in a somewhat similar way to Spintronics that aims to do the same with electron spin).

Bi-layer graphene based valleytronics experiment (Penn State)

The device is built from bi-layer graphene. The researchers added an electric field perpendicular to the plane opens a bandgap in the bi-layer graphene, which then enables them to build valleytronics valves in a physical gap present in the device.

Chinese cooperation yields graphene-enhanced tires set for mass production

A Chinese tire company called Qingdao Sentury Tire and a Chinese graphene producer by the name of Huagao Graphene Technology have signed an agreement to produce “electrostatic tires”. The companies reportedly started that trial production of graphene-based conducting tires in October last year and have now agreed to launch mass production.

According to the production plan, the output will be 5 million tires a year in the first five years, with the amount set to double for the second five-year period.

Graphene-based stretchy supercapacitor is a step towards flexible electronics

A team of researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, has produced a stretchy micro-supercapacitor using ribbons of graphene. The team produces stretchable electrodes and integrated them into a supercapacitor, in what can be seen as a promising step towards bendy power sources for flexible electronics.

In this study, the team focused on the fact that graphene can be flexible and foldable, but it cannot usually be stretched; They attempted to fix that problem by looking at skin, which has a wave-like microstructure, and started to think of how to make graphene also more like a wave. They started by making graphene nano-ribbons, having more control over its structure and thickness that way (which can affect the conductivity of the electrodes and how much energy the supercapacitor overall can hold).

Graphene 'artificial atom' opens door to quantum computing

A collaborative project involving scientists from TU Wien (Vienna, Austria), RWTH Aachen (Germany) and the University of Manchester (UK) has created an “artificial atom” in graphene that opens up possibilities for quantum computing, as their properties can be directly tuned.

“Artificial atoms” can be viewed as prisons for electrons; Under such confining conditions, electrons often exhibit properties different from their usual characteristics. But like their counterparts in regular atoms, electrons in these structures (also called quantum dots) can also be made to occupy discrete quantum states. "In most materials, electrons may occupy two different quantum states at a given energy. The high symmetry of the graphene lattice allows for four different quantum states. This opens up new pathways for quantum information processing and storage" explains a researchers from TU Wien. However, creating well-controlled artificial atoms in graphene turned out to be extremely challenging.

Graphene enables ultra high performance infrared photodetectors

Researchers from the University of Cambridge developed a high performance room temperature graphene-based mid-infrared photodetectors. So-called "bolometers" usually feature a very low temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) - between 2% and 4% / K.

Graphene room temperature MIR pyroelectric bolometer image

The unique properties of graphene, coupled with a novel device concept enabled the researchers to achieve ultra high performance - a TCR as high as 900%/K. The researchers hope that this device could in the future be used in astronomy, medicine imaging, automotive and even smartphone infra-red cameras.

Graphene "balloons" endure extreme pressure and could help evaluate other materials

Researchers at The University of Manchester have shown that small "balloons" made using graphene can endure huge pressures. This could be used to create miniature pressure machines that can withstand massive pressures, and pose a major step towards quickly identifying the way molecules respond under extreme pressure.

The graphene balloons normally form when depositing graphene on flat substrates and are typically thought of as a useless. The researchers at Manchester observed the nano-bubbles closely and discovered that the dimensions and shape of the nano-bubbles offer direct data regarding the elastic strength of graphene as well as its interaction with the underlying substrate. They were able to measure the pressure applied by graphene on a material caught within the balloons, or vice versa.

Haydale to acquire Thai Graphene inks & composites company

Haydale logoHaydale recently declared the planned acquisition of Innophene, a Thailand-based graphene-enhanced conductive ink and composites manufacturer, in an all-share deal for approximately £311,665. The acquisition marks a significant step in UK-based Haydale Graphene Industries’ expansion into the Asian market, since Innophene’s access to The Thailand Science Park in Bangkok, with its extensive analytical and processing capabilities, provides a platform for it to become the Group’s Far East Centre of Excellence.

Innophene, founded in 2011, has developed (in conjunction with the Thailand National Science & Technology Development Agency) a one-stage exfoliation/dispersion process to create a range of graphene-enhanced transparent conductive inks for inkjet and other printing platforms. They have also now developed a graphene enhanced PLA (Poly-Lactic Acid) resin (commonly used in medical devices and 3D printing).

Talga manufactured and delivered its first graphene-based steel coating prototype

Talga Resources recently announced its new graphene commercialization strategy, made possible by the growth and scale-up of Talga’s pilot plant facility in Germany.

Talga graphene powder photo

One of the premier industry sectors identified by Talga was metal pre-treatment coating. Talga now announced that it manufactured its first graphene coating product, and delivered it to its industry partner. This partner is highly likely to be Tata Steel - with whom Talga has been collaborating since the end of 2015.

Experts roundup: on Graphene Oxide for composites

Last month we launched a new feature - Experts Roundup. In this feature we ask graphene professionals to answer a short graphene related question. Last month's question was "will CVD ever be a viable commercial way to produce graphene?" and we got great response to that. Hopefully this month feature will be just as good.

In the growing field of graphene-enhanced composites, especially plastics, how does graphene oxide fit in? Does it have any significant advantages over graphene?

Ian Fuller, VP business development & engineering, Angstron Materials : I would classify graphene oxide as a functionalized graphene nanomaterial. Functionalization, in general, allows for tailored nanomaterials for applications such as polymer nanocomposites. The oxygen-based groups on the surface of graphene oxide often promote coupling between the polymer and the nanomaterial leading to enhanced properties such as strength and quality of dispersion (however, electrical and thermal conductivity are often reduced). Similarly, other functional groups can be added to the surface of a graphene platelet to customize it for a range of applications and polymers.