New method uses lasers to forge graphene into 3D shapes

Researchers from Finland and Taiwan have discovered how graphene can be made into 3D objects by using laser light. The scientists provided an illustration, in which they fabricated a pyramid with a height of 60 nm (about 200 times larger than the thickness of a graphene sheet).

"We call this technique optical forging, since the process resembles forging metals into 3D shapes with a hammer. In our case, a laser beam is the hammer that forges graphene into 3D shapes", explains the team. "The beauty of the technique is that it's fast and easy to use; it doesn't require any additional chemicals or processing. Despite the simplicity of the technique, we were very surprised initially when we observed that the laser beam induced such substantial changes on graphene. It took a while to understand what was happening".

Haydale announces first commercial sales to Everpower intended for the Chinese market

Haydale logoHaydale has announced the first commercial sales of its products to Everpower Sheng Tie (Xiamen) Graphene Technology ("Everpower"). The sales are for a range of Haydale's Silicon Carbide Fibres and 3D PLA masterbatch mixed with Haydale's functionalized Graphene Nano Platelets ("Additive Manufacturing PLA" or "AM PLA") for immediate delivery.

Haydale believes that these sales to Everpower are strategically important as they mark Haydale's first commercial sales into China and launches the Group and its products into what is expected to be a significant marketplace for Haydale.

China-based Tunghsu Optoelectronics unveils new graphene LEDs

The China-based Tunghsu Optoelectronic Technology has announced a new series of graphene LED ‘super lights’ at the 2017 International Graphene Innovation Conference. The new lights reportedly use graphene for heat dissipation and conduction.

The new LEDs' volume is said to be 75% lower than traditional LED lights and they are 30% lighter. Power-saving capacity is 20-30% better and they provide high-performance luminescence and light distribution. The lights also come with a smart connection function, according to the company. Users can integrate information devices, transmit Wi-Fi hotspots, gather environmental information, monitor road security and act as emergency alarms.

Graphene assists in visualizing movement of molecules

Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) managed to observe the movement of molecules stored inside a graphene pocket without the need to stain them. This study opens the door to using graphene for observing the dynamics of life building blocks like proteins, DNA and more.

Graphene assists in visualizing movement of molecules image

Due to its operating mechanism, electron microscopy is known to be suitable for visualizing inert, dead samples, while living material needs to be chemically locked in place. IBS scientists broke this rule and visualized non-fixed chains of atoms, called polymers, swimming in a liquid inside graphene pockets. These consist of 3-5 graphene layers on the bottom and two on top. The sheets are impermeable to small molecules, and also prevent the electron beam from instantly harming the sample: the scientists had an average of 100 seconds to admire the dynamic movement of individual polymer molecules, before these were destroyed by the electron beam. During these valuable seconds, molecules change position, rearrange or "jump around".

Honey can be used as a cheap and safe material for graphene manipulation

A rather accidental discovery was recently made that honey can serve as an effective, non-toxic substitute for the manipulation of the current and voltage characteristics of graphene. Researchers at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) were investigating various dielectric materials they could use to fabricate a graphene transistor; First, the team tried to utilize water as a top-gate dielectric to manipulate graphene's electrical conductivity, but this approach was unsuccessful, so they proceeded with various compositions of sugar and deionized water, which still resulted in negligible performance. When testing honey, however, an unexpected scientific discovery was made.

Honey to help make graphene transistors image

The team describes how honey produces a nanometer-sized electric double layer at the interface with graphene that can be used to gate the ambipolar transport of graphene. "As a top-gate dielectric, water is much too conductive, so we moved to sugar and de-ionized water to control the ionic composition in hopes we could reduce conductivity," the team explained. "However, sugar water didn't work for us either because, as a gate-dielectric, there was still too much leakage current..... We decided to drop-cast honey on graphene to act as top-gate dielectric— I thought maybe the honey would mimic dielectric gels I read about in literature. To our surprise—everyone said it's not going to work—we tried and it did".

Versarien to supply graphene to the CPI

Versarien LogoThe advanced materials engineering group Versarien announced that it has won a tender for the ongoing supply of nanomaterials to the Centre for Process Innovation. Versarien will supply up to 1.2 kilograms of graphene in a variety of forms to the CPI, in addition to hexagonal layer boron nitride.

Neill Ricketts, chief executive of Versarien, said: "We are very pleased to have been successful in all the tenders we entered into to supply the CPI with our nanomaterials after a competitive process". "For Versarien this is an important route for the commercialization of products enhanced by graphene and other related materials", "We continue to receive record levels of enquires from potential purchasers of our products globally and look forward to making further announcements as appropriate," Ricketts said.

Grolltex raises $600,000 in recent financing Round

Grolltex logo imageGrolltex, a U.S-based graphene materials and products developer, recently closed an Internal Seed B round of financing, amounting to $600,000. The round was entirely filled by existing shareholders at a valuation of $10 Million.

The company stated that it will use the funds to improve productivity as well as for general corporate purposes. Grolltex uses patented research and technologies developed at the University of California, San Diego, to produce CVD graphene as well as develop products made of graphene.

Graphene-based water filtration project progresses and receives funding boost

The Smart Filter project received new Innovate UK funding that follows a previous £700,000 project grant awarded in 2015. The previous grant enabled a two-year project by G2O and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), focused on transferring and scaling up the water filtration technology from laboratory to industry, ensuring the technology is usable with full quality control.

The technology has since been validated at CPI and the new grant will focus on transferring it to large-scale manufacturing. That will include the use of industrial printing technology to manufacture membranes and validate their performance using prototypes and will involve collaboration with a number of UK partner organizations including chemicals manufacturer William Blythe and CPI.

Graphene-wrapped nanocrystals may open door toward next-gen fuel cells

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a mix of metal nanocrystals wrapped in graphene that may open the door to the creation of a new type of fuel cell by enabling enhanced hydrogen storage properties.

Graphene-Wrapped Nanocrystals Make Inroads Toward Next-Gen Fuel Cellsultrathin oxide layer (oxygen atoms shown in red) coating graphene-wrapped magnesium nanoparticles (orange) still allows in hydrogen atoms (blue) for hydrogen storage applications

The team studied how graphene can be used as both selective shielding, as well as a performance increasing factor in terms of hydrogen storage. The study drew upon a range of Lab expertise and capabilities to synthesize and coat the magnesium crystals, which measure only 3-4 nanometers (billionths of a meter) across; study their nanoscale chemical composition with X-rays; and develop computer simulations and supporting theories to better understand how the crystals and their carbon coating function together.

Graphene helps improve bio-compatibility of scaffolds, to promote neuron growth

A team of researchers from Spain and Italy have created a series of 3D hydrogel scaffolds for neuronal growth using a combination of aqueous graphene dispersions and acrylamide synthesized by in situ radical polymerization.

While this is not the first time acrylamide hydrogels have been synthesized for scaffold applications, they have commonly suffered from biocompatibility issues – a crucial flaw when it comes to implantable scaffolds. To address this issue, the researchers created a series of graphene-polyacrylamide hydrogels which support the growth of living primary neurons.