Researchers demonstrate fast, non-contact, wafer-scale, atomic layer resolved imaging of 2D materials by Ellipsometric Contrast Micrography

Spectroscopic Imaging Ellipsometry (SIE) is a powerful tool to characterize, analyze and investigate thicknesses, optical properties and defects or impurities of 2D-materials. Recently, researchers from the University of Cambridge, Accurion and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Göttingen Germany focused on ellipsometric contrast micrography (ECM), a fast intensity mode within spectroscopic imaging ellipsometry, and showed that it can be effectively used for noncontact, large area characterization of 2D materials like graphene to map coverage, layer number, defects and contamination.

ECM approach image

The team has shown that imaging ellipsometry - in the mode of recording contrast micrographs - can be used to identify, test the quality and quantify 2D materials independently of the substrate and the material. Examples are graphene layers on Si with native oxide or directly on rough Cu catalyst foils as well as mono-layer hexagonal BN .

Perpetuus concludes successful trials of graphene-enhanced tires - with an average increase of 40% in wear resistance

UK-based Perpetuus Advanced Materials announced the completion of a "real world" road testing program of car tires enhanced with surface-engineered graphene materials.

Perpetuus graphene-enhanced tires testing

Over the last 6 months, Perpetuus graphene enhanced tires were fitted to high mileage, commercial light vehicles, which primarily travel on the UK’s A and B roads. The tests compared the graphene-enhanced tires with regular tires and monitored the performance of both tires. Perpetuus says that the tests showed that the graphene-enhanced tires produced an average of 40% increase in wear resistance over the regular tires.

G6-Epoxy: A New Generation of Graphene-Enhanced Electrically Conductive Adhesives Offers Competitive Advantages

The following is a sponsored post by Graphene Labs

Graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs), unique materials produced from natural graphite, are finding their way into a wide variety of commercial products including nanocomposites, lubricants, additives to battery electrodes, functional textiles, as well as many other applications.

G6 Epoxy (G6E RTC)

GNPs have quite a few outstanding properties that allow them to be employed in a broad spectrum of applications, including:

  • Superb mechanical strength
  • Excellent electrical conductivity
  • Ability to vastly improve the tensile strength and fracture toughness of polymers
  • Low percolation threshold
  • Resistance to corrosion

Schwarzite carbon structures identified

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have found that three carbon structures recently created by scientists in South Korea and Japan are in fact schwarzites, an elusive carbon structure which researchers predict will have unique electrical and storage properties like those of carbon nanotubes and graphene.

Schwarzites: Long-sought carbon structure joins graphene, fullerene family image

The new structures were built inside the pores of zeolites, crystalline forms of silicon dioxide—sand—more commonly used as water softeners in laundry detergents and to catalytically crack petroleum into gasoline. Called zeolite-templated carbons (ZTC), the structures were being investigated for possible interesting properties, though the creators were unaware of their identity as schwarzites, which theoretical chemists have worked on for decades.

Graphene Flagship team creates photosensitive graphene-based "switches"

Partners of the European Project 'Graphene Flagship' at the University of Strasbourg and CNRS (France), along with an international team of collaborators, created new 'switches' that respond to light. The team combined light-sensitive molecules with layers of graphene and other 2D materials to create new devices that could be used in sensors, optoelectronics and flexible devices.

Graphene Flagship team creates photosensitive graphene-based ''switches'' image

The researchers designed a molecule that can reversibly undergo chemical transformations when illuminated with ultraviolet and visible light. This molecule (a photoswitchable spiropyran) can be then attached to the surface of materials like graphene or molybdenum disulfide, thus generating an atomically precise hybrid macroscopic superlattice. When illuminated, the whole supramolecular structure experiences a collective structural rearrangement, which could be directly visualized with a sub-nanometer resolution by scanning tunneling microscopy.

Vollebak launches a graphene-enhanced jacket

Vollebak, a sports gear manufacturer with an affinity towards using next-gen materials and technologies, is now selling (for 595 euros!) a graphene-enhanced jacket that according to the company, can perform functions like absorbing heat and then warming you up over time, conducting electricity, repelling bacteria, and dissipating your body’s excess humidity.

Vollebak's graphene-enhanced jacket image

The process of developing Vollebak’s jacket, according to the company’s cofounders, brothers Steve and Nick Tidball, took years of intensive research. The jacket is reportedly made out of a two-sided material, which the company invented during the extensive R&D process. The graphene side is gray, while the other side appears matte black. To create it, the scientists turned raw graphite into graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) that were then blended with polyurethane to create a membrane. That, in turn, is bonded to nylon to form the other side of the material, which Vollebak says alters the properties of the nylon itself. “Adding graphene to the nylon fundamentally changes its mechanical and chemical properties–a nylon fabric that couldn’t naturally conduct heat or energy, for instance, now can,” the company claims.

Professor Novoselov collaborates with artist to create an art video highlighting graphene's unique qualities

The Manchester-based Nobel laureate Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov has taken part in creating a video animation art project shedding light on graphene's unique qualities and potential. Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov worked with artist Mary Griffiths to create Prospect Planes – a video artwork resulting from months of scientific and artistic research and experimentation using graphene.

Prospect Planes will be unveiled as part of The Hexagon Experiment series of events at the Great Exhibition of the North 2018, Newcastle, on August 17. The six-part Hexagon Experiment series was inspired by the the Friday evening sessions that led to the isolation of graphene at The University of Manchester by Novoselov and Sir Andre Geim.

China-US team uses graphene composite separator to achieve robust Li-S batteries

A team of researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and University of California in the US, along with teams from the University of Electronic Science and Technology, Hunan University and Soochow University in China, report the design of a negatively charged graphene composite separator for the effective suppression of the polysulfide shuttling effect in Li-sulfur batteries. The negatively charged 3D porous structure effectively inhibits the translocation of negatively charged polysulfide ions to enable highly robust Li-S batteries.

China-US team uses graphene composite separator to suppress polysulfide shuttling in Li-S batteries image

In their paper, the researchers show that by using a reduced graphene oxide (rGO)/sodium lignosulfonate (SL) composite on the standard polypropylene (PP) separator (rGO@SL/PP), they demonstrated a highly robust Li-S battery with a capacity retention of 74% over 1,000 cycles.

NUS and Boreal test graphene's properties after a launch into the stratosphere

The Centre for Advanced Two-Dimensional Materials (CA2DM) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has joined forces with US-based aerospace company Boreal Space to test the properties of graphene after it has been launched into the stratosphere. The results could provide insights into how graphene could be used for space and satellite technologies.

"Graphene's usefulness on Earth has already been established in the last decade. It is now an opportune time to expand its prospects for use in space applications—an area touted as being the most challenging to modern technology—and shift the paradigm of materials science. Space is the final frontier for graphene research, and I believe this is the first time that graphene has entered the stratosphere," said project leader Professor Antonio Castro Neto, Director of NUS CA2DM.

Rumors suggest that Huawei's Honor Magic 2 will use a graphene-based battery

According to the latest rumors, Huawei's upcoming Honor Magic 2 smartphone (that will be launched in December 2018) will feature a graphene-enhanced battery, made by Huawei itself. Interestingly, Huawei's graphene battery will have about 45% of the capacity compared to regular Li-Ion ones, but it will be able to charge extremely fast - in about 12 minutes (for a 3,000 mAh battery). The graphene battery is almost double that of a Li-Ion one.

These are just rumors at this stage, and we have no way to verify them. We do know that Huawei has been working on graphene technologies for a long time, and has even launched a commercial graphene-enhanced battery in 2016 - in which the graphene is used to extend the battery's operational temperature range.