Orbex secures $24 million funding for its graphene-enhanced rocket

Orbex, a UK-based private, low-cost orbital launch services company, recently reported that it has secured $24 million in a funding round led by BGF (London) and Octopus Ventures (London). At the beginning of 2020, Orbex developed what it calls an "advanced, low carbon, high performance micro-launch" rocket called "Orbex Prime".

Orbex develops graphene-enhanced rocket image

The new investments secure the roadmap to the first launch of Orbex’s vertical launch vehicle, Orbex Prime, from the Space Hub Sutherland spaceport in Scotland. Incorporating a wide range of advanced materials for its development, the launch vehicle boasts a 3D-printed rocket engine manufactured in a single piece without joins in partnership with additive manufacturer SLM Solutions (Lübeck, Germany). The vehicle is also built out of graphene-enhanced carbon fiber composites for the main structures and tanks.

A hands-on (foot-on) review of SpaceBlue's graphene-enhanced recycled rubber floor mat

A couple of months ago UK-based SpaceBlue launched a graphene-enhanced flooring product called SpaceMat. The company sent us a floor mat for review here at Graphene-Info.

Reviewing a floor mat isn't easy - there's not much to do with it, so we decided to use it in our home for a few months - and let nature and our family of six (plus a husky) do its thing. One of the promises of the SpaceMat is its enhanced durability, and we definitely put that to the test.

Zen Graphene Solutions develops graphene-based potential treatment for bacterial and viral Infections

Zen Graphene Solutions logo imageZEN Graphene Solutions has announced that it has developed a potential graphene-based antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal compound.

Recent testing results from the University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Microbiology in Toronto are said to indicate that this patent pending formulation could be a medical breakthrough in the treatment of numerous human-contracted pathogens including upper and lower respiratory tract infections - where COVID-19 is a major contributor - as well as drug resistant organisms.

Graphene-Info's top 10 graphene applications of 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for the graphene industry - the pandemic has caught everyone by surprise. But many in the graphene industry and academia were quick to adapt and develop graphene-based solutions and technologies.

Here are 2020's top ten graphene applications, ranked by the references at Graphene-Info. It is not surprising that the most popular applications this year were medicine and sensors:

  1. Medicine
  2. Sensors
  3. Batteries
  4. Composites
  5. Automotive applications
  6. Coating
  7. Supercapacitors
  8. Thermal conductivity
  9. Inks
  10. Electronics

AIXTRON's new graphene and hBN industrial grade reactor goes into operation

AIXTRONAixtron logo has developed, built and installed a new, specific industrial grade reactor for graphene and hexagonal Boron Nitride (hBN) processing on 200 mm epi-wafers. The new CVD tool was developed as part of the GIMMIK research project and has recently gone into operation.

The GIMMIK project aims to evaluate the production of graphene layers under industrial conditions, spotting weak points and designing ways of eliminating the sources of error. Furthermore, the transfer of the properties of graphene to electrical components by integration into a material environment are to be tested. In parallel, methods for the large-area, contact-free characterization of graphene will be developed, which do not yet exist at present. The GIMMIK research project aims to expand graphene technology for electronic components and to bring it up to a production-relevant level. Participants of the GIMMIK project include: AIXTRON SE, Infineon Technologies, IHP GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik, Protemics, LayTec, RWTH Aachen.

Versarien acquires CVD assets and IP from Hanwha Aerospace and enters into a subscription agreement

Versarien has announced that it has agreed to acquire certain graphene production related assets and intellectual property from South Korea based Hanwha Aerospace, for (the equivalent to) £4.34 million (around USD$5.8 million).

In addition, the Company has entered into a subscription agreement with Lanstead Capital Investors LP to subscribe for raising gross proceeds of £3.50 million (around USD$4.7 million), the proceeds of which will be used for an additional sharing agreement with Lanstead.

AMD signs LOI with Marks and Spencer for graphene-based ink tech for RFID

Advanced Material Development (AMD) has announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent with Marks and Spencer to further its work on the development of a green and sustainable RFID solution for the apparel and packaging industry.

AMD stated that it has made substantial progress on the use of its graphene based conductive ink technology to replace the aluminium and plastic materials that are incumbent in the ever-growing RFID applications industry. This has opened up opportunities in this sector for applications ranging from “green” to “flexible” solutions in a number of key markets.

Researchers design a new graphene/gold platform for terahertz nonlinear photonics

A German-Spanish research team recently developed a material system to generate terahertz pulses much more effectively than before. It is based on graphene, coated with a metallic lamellar structure.

Some time ago, a team of experts working on the HZDR accelerator ELBE were able to show that graphene can act as a frequency multiplier: When it is irradiated with light pulses in the low terahertz frequency range, these are converted to higher frequencies. Until now, the problem has been that extremely strong input signals, which in turn could only be produced by a full-scale particle accelerator, were required to generate such terahertz pulses efficiently."This is obviously impractical for future technical applications," explains the study's primary author Jan-Christoph Deinert of the Institute of Radiation Physics at HZDR. "So, we looked for a material system that also works with a much less violent input, i.e., with lower field strengths."

STEK Automotive launches graphene-enhanced window films

STEK Automotive, a U.S-based film technology developer, has launched a premium nano-ceramic window film, NEX, that contains graphene as well as tungsten and antimony tin oxide.

window films with graphene cooling technology image

The graphene-enhanced nano-ceramic window films are said to provide crystal clarity as well as UV and glare reduction, and is said to effectively prevent heat from reaching vehicle interiors. Its metal-free structure also reportedly guarantees signal freedom, ensuring the continuous connectivity of all electronic devices. By blocking up to 95% of visible interior light, NEX additionally offers exceptional passenger privacy, while its 92% sun glare reduction rate dramatically reduces eye strain. With a 98% IR rejection rate, NEX's steady regulation of UV transmittance keeps windows cool, significantly reducing the level and intensity of deterioration.

The best of 2020 - top graphene stories

2020 will soon be over - a fact that many find comforting, hoping that 2021 will bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. The entire world was effected, and the graphene industry and academia have been adapting quickly in developing graphene-based technologies that could assist in the fight against the Corona virus.

Here are the top 10 stories posted on Graphene-Info in 2020, ranked by popularity (i.e. how many people read the story):

  1. How can graphene assist in the war on Coronavirus? (Mar 24)
  2. Graphene amplifier may tap into the "terahertz gap" (Feb 6)
  3. New face masks use graphene and electrical charge to repel viruses and bacteria (Mar 20)
  4. MIT researchers use graphene to convert terahertz waves to usable energy (Mar 30)
  5. planarTECH and IDEATI launch graphene-enhanced antibacterial face masks (Apr 14)
  6. New graphene biosensor can detect SARS-CoV-2 in under a minute (Apr 21)
  7. Goodyear to launch bicycle tires with graphene technology (Jan 26)
  8. New method uses hydrogen plasma to smooth out wrinkles in graphene (Jan 17)
  9. New graphene-based lithium-air battery may enable longer-running electric cars (Jan 12)
  10. Health-tech startup Flextrapower launches GO-enhanced protective face masks (Aug 11)