Researchers examine 'Kagome' graphene and report promising results

Researchers from the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel, working in collaboration with the University of Bern, have recently produced and studied a compound referred to as "kagome graphene", that consists of a regular pattern of hexagons and equilateral triangles that surround one another. The name kagome comes from the old Japanese art of kagome weaving, in which baskets are woven in the same pattern.

Kagome graphene revealed to have fascinating properties imageKagome graphene is characterized by a regular lattice of hexagons and triangles. Credit: R. Pawlak, Department of Physics, University of Basel

The team's measurements have reportedly delivered promising results that point to unusual electrical or magnetic properties of the material.

Graphene ‘nano-origami’ could enable tiny microchips

Scientists at the University of Sussex have developed a technique for making tiny microchips from graphene and other 2D materials, using a form of ‘nano-origami’.

By creating distortions in the structure of the graphene, the researchers were able to make the nanomaterial behave like a transistor. “We’re mechanically creating kinks in a layer of graphene,” says Professor Alan Dalton of the School of Mathematical and Physics Sciences at the University of Sussex. “It’s a bit like nano-origami. Using these nanomaterials will make our computer chips smaller and faster. It is absolutely critical that this happens as computer manufacturers are now at the limit of what they can do with traditional semiconducting technology. Ultimately, this will make our computers and phones thousands of times faster in the future.”

New technique may enable large-area integration of 2D materials

Researchers affiliated with the Graphene Flagship from RWTH Aachen University, Universität der Bundeswehr München and AMO in Germany, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and with Protemics have reported a new method to integrate graphene and 2D materials into semiconductor manufacturing lines, a milestone for the recently launched 2D-EPL project.

Schematic illustration of the methodology for wafer-level transfer of two-dimensional materials imageImage from Nature Communications

Two-dimensional (2D) materials have a huge potential for providing devices with much smaller size and extended functionalities with respect to what can be achieved with today's silicon technologies. But to exploit this potential, it is vital to be able to integrate 2D materials into semiconductor manufacturing lines - a notoriously difficult step. This new technique could be a step in the right direction as far as solving this problem is concerned.

Versarien’s graphene-enhanced face masks meet FFP3 European protection standard

Versarien recently reported that its graphene-enhanced face maskVersarien Logo has met the FFP3 standard, the highest standard under the European EN149 standard for filtering half face masks.

As previously outlined in its half-year results, the advanced materials engineering group’s wholly owned Chinese subsidiary, Beijing Versarien Technology Company Limited, has been working with its partner on further developments of the masks. Specifically, this included the testing of a prototype second generation graphene enhanced face mask conducted in China at the Analytical and Testing Centre of Capital Regions which showed a 99.92% antiviral activity rate against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Haydale's functionalized nano-enhanced rubber masterbatch used in Bolflex's rubber sole

Haydale logoHaydale has announced that Bolflex has purchased 80 kg of its functionalized nano-enhanced rubber masterbatch for use in its premium soles range for shoe production. This follows Haydale recently increasing the elastomer capability of its functionalized nano-enhanced rubber masterbatch.

Haydale's products are incorporated into the styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) compound offering increased tear strength, abrasion resistance, flex resistance, slip resistance and coefficient of friction - all essential properties for footwear.

Graphmatech uses its graphene technology to push forward copper additive manufacturing

Researchers at Uppsala University, in collaboration with Swedish graphene materials company Graphmatech, have reported a potential breakthrough in the printability of copper for laser additive manufacturing (AM), significantly lowering the reflectivity of copper powder to achieve more dense printed parts.

Graphmatech's graphene technology unlocks the potential of copper additive manufacturing imageCopper powder was coated using Graphmatech’s patented graphene technology. Credit: Simon Tidén / Uppsala University

Additive manufacturing of metals can help produce customized and complex designs on demand and offer more sustainable manufacturing with reduced waste and lower material requirements. However, some metals, including pure copper, have proven a challenge due to their high reflectivity. At the wavelengths commonly used in laser powder bed fusion (the dominant technology in metal AM), only a small part of the energy is absorbed by the material, resulting in low density printed parts. This is what the team set out to address.

Grapheal raises almost $3 million for graphene-based biosensors, hopes to hit the market by end of 2021

Grapheal logoGrapheal, a developer of graphene-based embedded biosensors for on-site diagnostics and remote patient monitoring, has announced that it has raised a total of EUR1.9 million (almost USD$3 million) in equity and non-dilutive sources, including seed financing from Novalis Biotech’s Acceleration Fund, several innovation grants, and Bpifrance convertible notes and loans.

The funds will be used to advance the commercialization of Grapheal’s flexible graphene-based biosensor technology. This sensing technology combines novel electronic nanomaterials, embedded wireless electronics, software data analysis, and medical cloud IoT technologies. The first two applications of the technology will be a new generation digital COVID-19 test (TestNPass) for rapid screening in high-traffic areas, such as airports, and a wound care digital assistant (WoundLAB) to improve the monitoring of hard-to-heal wounds. The funds will also be used to validate the two devices in the field and complete clinical studies, respectively.

Graphene-enhanced battery casing developer, Vaulta, enters agreement with Australian aerospace manufacturer

Vaulta logo imageA new Australian battery casing company called Vaulta has announced that it is working with Quickstep, Australia’s largest independent aerospace advanced composites manufacturer, to develop smarter technology for renewables, manned and unmanned drones and electric flight.

The two Australian companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to pair Vaulta’s innovative graphene-enhanced cell casing technology with Quickstep’s manufacturing capability and market reach as it looks to move further into the high-growth market of electric-powered land and air vehicles. The two companies will be actively working together on a joint proposal for Australian Defense.

New graphene-based sensing system to detect cortisol stress hormone in sweat

Scientists at EPFL, in collaboration with startup Xsensio, have developed a graphene-enhanced wearable system that can continually measure the concentration of cortisol—the stress hormone—in human sweat. Their device can potentially help to better understand and treat stress-related conditions like burnout and obesity.

Graphene sensor detects cortisol in sweat imageSchematic of extended-gate FET configuration used in this work. Image from article

The team developed a small wearable sensor that can be placed directly on a patient's skin and can continually measure the concentration of cortisol, the main stress biomarker, in the patient's sweat.

Quantum tunneling in graphene enables highly sensitive terahertz detectors

Scientists from MIPT, Moscow Pedagogical State University and the University of Manchester have created a highly sensitive terahertz detector based on the effect of quantum-mechanical tunneling in graphene. The sensitivity of the device is said to already be superior to that of commercially available analogs based on semiconductors and superconductors, which opens up prospects for applications of the graphene detector in wireless communications, security systems, radio astronomy, and medical diagnostics.

Information transfer in wireless networks is based on transformation of a high-frequency continuous electromagnetic wave into a discrete sequence of bits. This technique is known as signal modulation. To transfer the bits faster, one has to increase the modulation frequency. However, this requires synchronous increase in carrier frequency. A common FM-radio transmits at frequencies of hundred megahertz, a Wi-Fi receiver uses signals of roughly five gigahertz frequency, while the 5G mobile networks can transmit up to 20 gigahertz signals. This is far from the limit, and further increase in carrier frequency admits a proportional increase in data transfer rates. Unfortunately, picking up signals with hundred gigahertz frequencies and higher is an increasingly challenging problem.