Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern. Graphene is considered to be the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material - to both electricity and heat. All this properties are exciting researchers and businesses around the world - as graphene has the potential the revolutionize entire industries - in the fields of electricity, conductivity, energy generation, batteries, sensors and more.

Mechanical strength

Graphene is the world's strongest material, and so can be used to enhance the strength of other materials. Dozens of researches have demonstrated that adding even a trade amount of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make these materials much stronger - or lighter (as you can use less amount of material to achieve the same strength).

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Such graphene-enhanced composite materials can find uses in aerospace, building materials, mobile devices, and many other applications.

Thermal applications

Graphene is the world's most conductive material to heat. As graphene is also strong and light, it means that it is a great material to make heat-spreading solutions, such as heat sinks. This could be useful in both microelectronics (for example to make LED lighting more efficient and longer lasting) and also in larger applications - for example thermal foils for mobile devices.

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Energy storage

Because graphene is the world's thinnest material, it is also the material with the highest surface-area to volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material to be used in batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene may enable devices that can store more energy - and charge faster, too. Graphene can also be used to enhance fuel-cells.

Coatings ,sensors, electronics and more

Graphene has a lot of other promising applications: anti-corrosion coatings and paints, efficient and precise sensors, faster and efficient electronics, flexible displays, efficient solar panels, faster DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and more.

Graphene is such a great and basic building block that it seems that any industry can benefit from this new material. Time will tell where graphene will indeed make an impact - or whether other new materials will be more suitable.

Latest graphene application news

Researchers develop graphene-based flexible, water-repellent circuits for washable electronics

Researchers at Iowa State University, along with collaborators at Rice University, Ames Laboratory and Lehigh University, have designed a new graphene printing technology that can produce electronic circuits that are low-cost, flexible, highly conductive and water repellent. The scientists explain that this technology could enable self-cleaning wearable/washable electronics that are resistant to stains, or ice and biofilm formation.

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“We’re taking low-cost, inkjet-printed graphene and tuning it with a laser to make functional materials,” said authors of the paper. The work describes how the team used inkjet printing technology to create electric circuits on flexible materials. In this case, the ink is flakes of graphene. The printed flakes, however, aren’t highly conductive and have to be processed to remove non-conductive binders and weld the flakes together, boosting conductivity and making them useful for electronics or sensors. Such post-print processes typically involve heat or chemicals, but the research group developed a rapid-pulse laser process that treats the graphene without damaging the printing surface – even if it’s paper.

Callaway launches new graphene-enhanced golf balls

Callaway Golf Company, U.S-based maker of golf equipment, unveiled new graphene-enhanced golf balls called Callaway Chrome Soft golf and Chrome Soft X golf balls. Shipping is supposed to be starting in February 2018, for about $45/dozen.

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Graphene has reportedly allowed designers to push the limits of compression between the inner and outer core. A soft inner core is made to deform under large impact, and surpresses spin for maximum distance. On shorter shots, the firm graphene outer core helps the ball hold its shape, allowing for maximum spin and control. The new outer core is also designed to help the urethane cover grip the outer core, for even more spin on shorter shots.

Graphene Oxide market report

University of Arkansas' aims to commercialize its revolutionary graphene-based VEH technology

A fascinating research out of the University of Arkansas, revealed in November 2017, showed that the internal motion of graphene (and possibly other 2D materials) may be used as a source of clean, limitless energy. Now, NTS Innovations (also known as Nanotube Solutions), a U.S -based nanotechnology company, has licensed this patent-pending technology from the university and plans to use it to fabricate devices and systems that produce energy without consuming fuel or creating pollution.

NTS Innovations focuses on the commercialization of nanotechnology and environmentally sustainable heating, water filtration and purification, as well as the production of green energy, all using 2D materials. The company sees great potential for this discovery in many applications. For example, it could be used to create sustainable, decentralized energy systems throughout the world, especially in places where the energy grid system is underdeveloped or nonexistent. It may also prove beneficial in biomedical devices, enhanced solar and wind production, capturing waste heat and remote sensing devices.

Versarien reports strong performance in World Cup competition using graphene-enhanced equipment

Versarien LogoVersarien has noted the recent strong performances by British Skeleton World Cup competitor Dominic Parsons utilizing graphene-enhanced equipment provided by Versarien’s collaboration partner Bromley Technologies.

Versarien has been collaborating with Bromley since May 2016 to incorporate Versarien’s graphene enhanced carbon fibre into the skeleton sleds being produced by Bromley. Utilizing one of three Bromley X22 prototype sleds, Parsons set the fastest speed of 137.3 km/hr at the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation World Cup Race in St. Moritz.

Crumpled graphene balls to enhance Li-ion batteries by preventing dendrite growth

Researchers at Northwestern University in the U.S have designed a way to use "crumpled graphene balls" to improve Li-ion batteries. The team explained that in current batteries, lithium is usually atomically distributed in another material like graphite or silicon in the anode. However, using an additional material 'dilutes' the battery's performance.

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Since Lithium is a metal, it sounds logical to use lithium by itself, but researchers have spent years trying to do so without sufficient success. The biggest challenge has been that when lithium charges and discharges, it can generate dendrites and filaments, with implications for safety and reliability. The team said: "At best, it leads to rapid degradation of the battery's performance. At worst, it causes the battery to short or even catch fire."

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