International team reports advances towards tunable graphene plasmonic THz amplifiers

An international team of researchers, led by Tohoku University's professor Taiichi Otsuji, successfully demonstrated a room-temperature coherent amplification of terahertz (THz) radiation in graphene, electrically driven by a dry cell battery.

About 40 years ago, the arrival of plasma wave electronics fascinated scientists with the possibility that plasma waves could propagate faster than electrons, suggesting that so-called "plasmonic" devices could work at THz frequencies. However, experimental attempts to realize such amplifiers or emitters remained elusive.

ZEN Graphene Solutions receives acceleration grants

Zen Graphene Solutions logo image

ZEN Graphene Solutions recently reported that industry and university laboratories fully re-opened in late July-early August after a 4 month hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they have re-started ZEN’s collaborative R&D programs.

In addition, ZEN announced the recent award of two NSERC Alliance COVID-19 project grants, a Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship grant, and two Mitacs Accelerate grants for a total of CAD$355,000 (around USD$269,500) to its university collaborators increasing ZEN’s total research and development budget for the next 12 months to over CAD$1.4 Million (around USD$1.06 Miliion).

Skeleton Technologies working on graphene “SuperBattery” for EVs, signs €1 billion LOI with a leading automotive manufacturer

Estonian startup Skeleton Technologies is reportedly developing a graphene-enhanced “SuperBattery” that can be charged in just 15 seconds, and can go through hundreds of thousands of charge-recharge cycles without degrading. It was also reported that Skeleton recently signed a €1 billion letter of intent with a leading automotive manufacturer to bring the technology to market, most likely in 2023 according to Taavi Madiberk, founder and chief executive of Skeleton.

“This will be a key enabler of the energy transition,” says Madiberk. “In most cases we see that batteries are not able to fully replace the older technologies — we still have hybrid vehicles or the need for backup generators.”

KoreaGraph to test graphene li-ion batteries for fast charging electronics

KoreaGraph logo imageKoreaGraph, A Seoul-based graphene producer and applications developer, has announced that it is developing and testing graphene infused lithium-ion batteries for fast charging electronic applications.

KoreaGraph has reportedly tested a variety of metals to provide suitable conductivity for fast charging applications but after numerous testing, graphene was found to be the safest material with an exceptionally high electric and thermal conductivity.

Stretchable and ultrasensitive NO2 sensors based on rGO and MOS2 nanocomposites

Researchers at Penn State, Northeastern University and five universities in China have developed and tested a stretchable, wearable gas sensor for environmental sensing.

Stretchable, ultrasensitive, and low-temperature NO2 sensors based on MoS2@rGO nanocomposites image

The sensor combines a newly developed laser-induced graphene foam material with a unique form of molybdenum disulfide and reduced-graphene oxide nanocomposites. The researchers were interested in seeing how different morphologies of the gas-sensitive nanocomposites affect the sensitivity of the material to detecting nitrogen dioxide molecules at very low concentration. To change the morphology, they packed a container with very finely ground salt crystals.

MITO Material Solutions closes $1 Million financing round

MITO Material SolutionsMITO Materials Solutions logo image, a developer of performance-enhancing additives for polymers, has announced an oversubscribed $1 Million Series Seed funding round led by two Chicago-based firms, Dipalo Ventures and Clean Energy Trust.

This investment follows MITO Materials receipt of more than $1.1 million in R&D grants from the National Science Foundation and participation in the Heritage Group Hardtech Accelerator powered by Techstars in late 2019. Additional Series Seed investors who participated in this round include Charlottesville, Virginia-based, CavAngels; Indiana-based HG Ventures, Elevate Ventures, and VisionTech Angels; and Oklahoma-based, Cortado Ventures.

Xiaomi's Mi 10 Ultra smartphone said to sport "the first mass-produced graphene Li-ion battery"

Xiaomi's upcoming smartphone, the high-end Mi 10 Ultra, will reportedly be sporting "the first mass-produced 120W graphene battery".

Xiami's new Mi 10 Ultra phone to wield a graphene battery image

Xiaomi claims the 4,500mAh “graphene-based lithium-ion” battery packs 1,000 times greater conductivity than traditional “carbon black” batteries. The brand was also quoted as saying that the battery remained at over 90% capacity after 800 charge and discharge cycles.

Graphene additives show a new way to control the structure of organic crystals

A research team at the University of Manchester has shown that by tuning the surface properties of graphene, it is possible to change the type of polymorphs produced. Glycine, the simplest amino acid, has been used as reference molecule, while different types of graphene have been used either as additive or as templates.

Matthew Boyes and Adriana Alieva, PhD students at The University of Manchester, both contributed to this work: “This is a pioneering work on the use of graphene as an additive in crystallization experiments. We have used different types of graphene with varying oxygen content and looked at their effects on the crystal outcome of glycine. We have observed that by carefully tuning the oxygen content of graphene, it is possible to induce preferential crystallisation”, said Adriana.

Researchers use graphene to create detachable flexible microLED devices

University of Texas at Dallas researchers and their international colleagues have developed a graphene-based method to create micro LEDs that can be folded, twisted, cut and stuck to different surfaces. The research could help pave the way for the next generation of flexible, wearable technology.

Graphene helps create flexible and detachable micro LEDs image(A) Photograph of EL light emission from MR LED in a bent form. (B) Cross-sectional schematic of MR heterostructures grown on graphene-coated c-Al2O3 wafer. Image from Science Advances

Used in various applications like signage and automotive lights, LEDs are ubiquitous because they are lightweight, thin, energy efficient and visible in different types of lighting. Micro LEDs, which can be as small as 2 micrometers and bundled to be any size, provide higher resolution than LEDs. Their size makes them a good fit for small devices such as smart watches, but they can be bundled to work in flat-screen TVs and other larger displays. LEDs of all sizes, however, are brittle and typically can only be used on flat surfaces. The researchers’ new micro LEDs aim to enable bendable, wearable electronics.