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Graphene and liquid salt to double the energy storage of supercapacitors

Researchers at the University of Waterloo managed to significantly improve supercapacitors, by combining graphene with an oily liquid salt in the supercapacitors' electrodes.

The researchers explained that the liquid salt serves as a spacer to separate the thin graphene sheets, preventing them from stacking. That dramatically increases their exposed surface area, a key to maximizing energy-storage capacity. At the same time, the liquid salt doubles as the electrolyte needed to actually store electrical charge, minimizing the size and weight of the supercapacitor.

NanoXplore announces the Acquisition of CEBO Injections, expanding its presence in Europe

NanoXplore logoNanoXplore has announced an agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of CEBO Injections, a Swiss-based injection molding company, from BCR Plastic Group. CEBO provides customers with high precision and high-quality injection molded products, and serves the automotive, medical, industrial and watches manufacturing markets.

Dr. Soroush Nazarpour, President and CEO of NanoXplore commented: "Our graphene improves the performance and minimizes shrinkage of injection molded plastic parts such as those provided by CEBO. Acquiring CEBO will allow NanoXplore to demonstrate the benefits of graphene to CEBO's existing customers while providing NanoXplore with an entry into the European market, accelerating the adoption of graphene enhanced thermoplastics".

First Graphite and UoA to develop graphene-based fire retardant

First Graphite reports that it is working with the University of Adelaide to develop FireStop, a non-toxic, low cost fire retardant for the building industry which could help in preventing fire disasters. FGR states that the effectiveness of this product combined with its simplicity could see its commercialization as early as 2018.

The University of Adelaide reports extensive test work on FireStop using FGR’s graphene as the primary ingredient, confirming it is well suited for the purpose. Test work has involved bench scale tests for the preparation of FireStop solutions at different graphene concentration levels. As reported, all results have been very positive to date with the large platelet size of the FGR graphene offering useful advantages.

A new method to control electrons in graphene may open the door to next-gen electronics

Scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick have found a way to control the electrons in graphene, paving the way for the ultra-fast transport of electrons with low loss of energy in novel systems. "This shows we can electrically control the electrons in graphene," said a professor in Rutgers' Department of Physics and Astronomy. "In the past, we couldn't do it. This is the reason people thought that one could not make devices like transistors that require switching with graphene, because their electrons run wild."

Controlling electrons in graphene image

This new work might make it possible to realize a graphene nano-scale transistor, the team said, which would be an important step towards an all-graphene electronics platform. The team managed to control electrons by sending voltage through a microscope with an extremely sharp tip, also the size of one atom, which offers 3-D views of surfaces at the atomic scale. The microscope's sharp tip creates a force field that traps electrons in graphene or modifies their trajectories, similar to the effect a lens has on light rays. Electrons can easily be trapped and released, providing an efficient on-off switching mechanism, according to the team.

Graphene nano-ribbons give a major boost to the sensitivity of sensors

Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Russia’s Saratov State Technical University have shown that adding a graphene nanoribbons to gas sensors can significantly increase their sensitivity compared to traditional ones.

GNRs improve efficiency of gas sensor imageThis rendering shows gas molecules widening the gaps between rows of the team's GNRs. This was proposed as a partial explanation to how the nano-ribbons grant sensors an unprecedented boost

The team integrated the nano-ribbons into the circuity of the gas sensor where it reportedly responded about 100 times more sensitively to molecules than did sensors featuring even the best performing carbon-based materials. “With multiple sensors on a chip, we were able to demonstrate that we can differentiate between molecules that have nearly the same chemical nature,” said the study author and associate professor of chemistry at the University of Nebraska. “For example, we can tell methanol and ethanol apart. So these sensors based on graphene nano-ribbons can be not only sensitive but also selective”.

First Greek graphene-enhanced battery for homes is on its way

The Greece-based IntelenAn has announced that a working model of a graphene-enhanced lithium ion "smart" battery for households will be ready in February 2018.

The company's CEO mentioned that two Greek firms are currently collaborating to develop the first model of a lithium ion 'smart' battery for commercial use. He noted his team is working with researchers at the Demokritos research center, who have set up a specialized company and developed a new lithium ion electrode enriched with graphene.

Clemson University team's graphene-enhanced aluminum-ion batteries outperform lithium-ion ones

Researchers at Clemson University in the U.S have shown that replacing lithium with aluminum and graphene may be key for next-gen batteries.

Clemson's graphene-enhanced aluminum ion batteries outperform Li-ion ones image

Aluminum is regarded as non-toxic and much more plentiful than the lithium currently in widespread use (and cheaper). Aluminum also transfers energy more efficiently. Inside a battery, the element — lithium or aluminum — gives up some of its electrons, which flow through external wires to power a device. Because of their atomic structure, lithium ions can only provide one electron at a time; aluminum can give three at a time. That, the team says, is the real point of the switch.

Graphene to increase efficiency of perovskite solar cells

Researchers from Italy’s University of Florence have found that graphene oxide could significantly improve the efficiency of perovskite solar cells. The researchers have shown how the introduction of graphene and graphene oxide doped with lithium atoms (GO-Li) into a perovskite-based cell may increase its conversion efficiency, as both the carrier recombination dynamics and the defect density of the perovskite are considerably improved.

The scientists used graphene doped mesoporous TiO2 (G+mTiO2) with the addition of a lithium-neutralized graphene oxide (GO-Li) interlayer as ETL. They found that the carrier collection efficiency is increased by about a factor two with respect to standard mTiO2.

Graphene commercialization: addressing the painpoints

The following is a sponsored post by IDTechEx

IDTechEx will be hosting the 11th global Graphene and 2D Materials event in Santa Clara (CA), USA, on November 15 & 16. This is the most important business-focused conference and exhibition on Graphene and 2D Materials, providing all the players with unparalleled opportunity to find and secure commercial interest, to develop global business relationships across the entire value chain, and to learn about the latest technological and commercial developments. In this article IDTechEx Research Director Dr Khasha Ghaffarzadeh would like to explain to you why this is the case and hopes to convince you to join IDTechEx in California.

IDTechEx graphene & 2D Materials conference photo

Commercialization: painpoints that our event remedies

From the outset we set out to focus on commercialization and commercialization only. This is not to say that we did not cover innovation. In fact, we aggressively covered innovation but carefully selected only those works which were commercially relevant. Our decision to be business focused went, at the beginning, against the grain since the technology was then still in R&D phase and most events were only catering to researchers or companies interested in the R&D market.