3D printed graphene aerogel awarded Guiness World Record

Guiness World Records has named a 3D printed graphene aerogel as "the least dense 3D printed structure". The 3D printed graphene aerogel, developed by a Kansas State University, University at Buffalo and Lanzhou University (China) team, weighs 0.5 milligrams per cubic centimeter. This achievement will be featured in the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2018 Edition.

The way the researchers print the three-dimensional graphene is also regarded as revolutionary. The researchers use a modified inkjet printer that uses two nozzles. They 3D print droplets of a graphene oxide and water mixture in a freezer on a cold plate that is minus 20 degrees Celsius. This method creates a 3D ice structure of graphene and frozen water, which helps the graphene to maintain its shape.

MIT team uses graphene to create improved membranes

Researchers from MIT have fabricated a functional dialysis membrane from a sheet of graphene. The team’s membrane is able to filter out nanometer-sized molecules from aqueous solutions up to 10 times faster than state-of-the-art membranes, with the graphene itself being up to 100 times faster. The graphene membrane is also very thin; It's less than 1 nanometer thick, while the thinnest existing membranes are about 20 nanometers thick.

MIT's graphene membrane image

Dialysis can be generally described as the process by which molecules filter out of one solution by diffusing through a membrane, into a more dilute solution. The most recognizable form is hemodialysis, which removes waste from blood, but scientists also use dialysis for many other applications, like purifying drugs, removing residue from chemical solutions, and more, typically by allowing the materials to pass through a porous membrane.

Researchers develop novel graphene-based phase modulator with high efficiency and minimized footprint

ICFO researchers, along with teams from CIC Nanogune, IIT and Columbia University, have developed a graphene-based phase modulator capable of tuning the light phase between 0 and 2π in situ.

Graphene-based phase modulator image

To this end, the researchers exploited the unique wavelength tunability of graphene plasmons, light coupled to electrons in graphene. In their work, they used ultra-high quality graphene to build a fully functional phase modulator with a device footprint of only 350 nm, which is 30 times than the wavelength of the infrared light used for this experiment.

Chinese team uses graphene oxide to create moisture-responsive spider robots

Researchers from China have turned a sheet of graphene oxide into a material that bends when exposed to moisture, which they used to create a spider-like crawler and claw robot that move in response to changing humidity conditions without the need for any external power.

Graphene oxide spider robot image

The researchers stated that "Our very simple method for making typical graphene oxides smart is also extremely efficient. A sheet can be prepared within one second". They also reported that graphene oxide sheets treated with brief exposure to bright light in the form of a camera flash exhibited reversible bending at angles from zero to 85 degrees in response to switching the relative humidity between 33 and 86 percent. They also demonstrated that their method is repeatable and the simple robots they created have good stability.

ORA launches a highly successful crowdfunding campaign for its graphene-enhanced headphones

ORA, Canada-based developer of graphene-enhanced audio equipment, recently unveiled its graphene oxide-based composite material, dubbed grapheneQ. A few days ago, the company launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for graphene-enhanced wireless Bluetooth earphones that promise comfort, high fidelity and long battery life, which has since been doing extremely well and (at the time of writing this post) has already tripled its mark!

ORA's graphene headphones image

The product is regarded as the first commercial audio product to use graphene, and is now available at the "early bird" price of $199 (retail price should be $499). The ORA Headphones feature GrapheneQ membranes for excellent tonality and superior dampening, high efficiency drivers for extended battery life, touchpad controls to skip songs, control volume and answer calls, high quality built-in microphone for hands-free calling, and ear-shaped design optimized for fit and ergonomics.

Researchers from India use graphene oxide to design a novel anti-cancer system

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune have used graphene oxide to develop a novel cancer drug delivery system. The researchers' achievement relies on a rather surprising revelation - they found that when a FDA-approved anticancer drug cisplatin was added, the graphene oxide sheets self-assembled into spherical nanoparticles enclosing the drug within.

Lab tests showed that the nanoparticles (of 90-120 nanometre in size) containing cisplatin and either of two other anticancer drugs ( proflavine and doxorubicin) were taken up by cervical cancer cells leading to programmed cell death.

Chinese team created graphene aerogels inspired by plant structure

Researchers at Zhejiang University in China have designed a graphene-based aerogel mimicking the structure of the "powdery alligator-flag" plant that could have potential for use in applications like flexible electronics.

Graphene aerogel based on plant structure image

The team drew inspiration from the stem structure of the powdery alligator-flag plant (Thalia dealbata), a strong, lean plant capable of withstanding harsh winds. The researchers used a bidirectional freezing technique that they previously developed to assemble a new type of biomimetic graphene aerogel that had an architecture like that of the plant's stem. When tested, the material supported 6,000 times its own weight and maintained its strength after intensive compression trials and was resilient. They also put the aerogel in a circuit with a LED and found it could potentially work as a component of a flexible device.

Graphene nanocapsules improve Li-S battery electrodes

Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory and Oregon State University in the U.S have designed a novel cathode architecture for lithium-sulphide batteries that consists of crystalline di-lithium sulphide nanoparticles encapsulated in few-layer graphene. The design is said to allow the maximum amount of active sulphur species to be incorporated into the electrode and so greatly improves its electrical conductivity. It also overcomes many of the major challenges associated with existing sulphur electrodes and di-lithium composites.

The Li2S-graphene nanocapsules architecture can boast superior electrochemical properties. The electrodes have a high reversible capacity of 1160 mAh/g and area capacity of 8.1 mAh/cm2. The team synthesized the Li2S@graphene nanocomposites in a one-step reaction in which they reacted lithium metal foils with CS2 vapour carried by argon gas at 650°C. Li2S nanocrystals and the tight wrapper of few-layer graphene are spontaneously generated, thus forming the nanocapsules. The Li2 nanoparticles are between 50 and 80 nm in size and are uniformly and seamlessly encapsulated in about 10–20 graphene layers. This significantly reduces the charge-transfer resistance between the two materials and greatly improves the electric conductivity of Li2.

Scientists use lasers to 3D print graphene foams

Researchers at Rice University and China's Tianjin University have used 3D laser printing to fabricate centimeter-sized graphene objects. The team has demonstrated the making of graphene foams from non-graphene starting materials, in a method that could reportedly be scaled for additive manufacturing applications with pore-size control. The process is conducted at room temperature, without the need for molds. The rather unusual starting materials are powdered sugar and nickel powder.

Rice U team 3D prints graphene using lasers image

3D laser printers work differently than the more familiar extrusion-based 3D printers, which create objects by squeezing melted plastic through a needle as they trace out two-dimensional patterns. In 3D laser sintering, a laser shines down onto a flat bed of powder. Wherever the laser touches powder, it melts or sinters the powder into a solid form. The laser is rastered, or moved back and forth, line by line to create a single two-dimensional slice of a larger object. Then a new layer of powder is laid over the top of that layer and the process is repeated to build up three-dimensional objects from successive two-dimensional layers.

Directa Plus joins Alfredo Grassi in a project to develop graphene-enhanced clothing

Directa Plus logoDirecta Plus, a producer and supplier of graphene-based products, has teamed up with clothing manufacturer Alfredo Grassi to develop graphene-enhanced clothing, workwear, uniforms and more. This joint development agreement follows a trial of Directa’s graphene by Alfredo to assess the potential benefits of incorporating graphene into their products.

The initial focus under the deal will be on garments with linings printed with Graphene Plus combined with waterproof, breathable textiles. The presence of G+ graphene, which has reportedly been independently certified as non-toxic and non-cytotoxic, produces a technically advanced fabric with unique properties, the company claims.