Article last updated on: Dec 09, 2019

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 or films used to dissipate heat. 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. Huawei's latest smartphones, for example, adopt graphene-based thermal films.

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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 batteries and supercapacitors (and even fuel-cells) that can store more energy - and charge faster, too.

Graphene battery advantages imageThe advantages of graphene batteries

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.

The latest Graphene Application news:

New graphene-based metasurface capable of independent amplitude and phase control of light

A KAIST research team in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison theoretically developed a graphene-based active metasurface capable of independent amplitude and phase control of mid-infrared light. This research gives a new insight into modulating the mid-infrared wavefront with high resolution by solving the problem of the independent control of light amplitude and phase, which has remained a long-standing challenge.

Light modulation technology is essential for developing future optical devices such as holography, high-resolution imaging, and optical communication systems. Liquid crystals and a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) have previously been utilized to modulate light. However, both methods suffer from significantly limited driving speeds and unit pixel sizes larger than the diffraction limit, which consequently prevent their integration into photonic systems.

Micro Powders and Garmor launch GraphShield 730 - graphene-enhanced anticorrosion additive for powder coating applications

Micro Powders, in collaboration with Garmor, recently launched GraphShield 730, a next-generation graphene-based anticorrosion additive for powder coating applications.

GraphShield 730 uses Micro Powders’ wax composite technology to deliver a high loading of Garmor’s unique edge functionalized graphene product, enabling the delivery of an advanced nanomaterial into coating formulations safely and effectively without any changes needed in the customer’s production process. Graphene imbues the final coating with significantly enhanced corrosion resistance on both bare and treated cold rolled steel, with up to 50% reduction in corrosive creep.

Tuning the interlayer spacing of graphene laminate films yields extremely efficient supercapacitors

Scientists from University College London and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have proposed a graphene-based design for supercapacitors, which reportedly increased their density by 10 times.

Supercapacitors charge quickly but also discharge at a high speed. Existing supercapacitors tend to have a low energy density – about 1/20 of the battery capacity. Batteries combined with supercapacitors are already in limited use – for example, in Chinese public transport. But the bus in which such a battery is installed is forced to charge at almost every stop.

CRIL secures €140,000 grant to accelerate development of graphene-based scanning microscope

Cambridge Raman Imaging logo imageCambridge Raman Imaging Limited (CRIL), a Frontier IP Group portfolio firm, has been awarded €140,000 (£116,380) in EU funding to accelerate development of its graphene-enabled scanning microscope.

CRIL, which was spun out from the University of Cambridge and Italian university Politecnico di Milano in 2018, is developing a microscope which uses graphene to modulate ultra-short pulses of light to diagnose and track cancer tumors.

Researchers determine if graphene promotes or prevents the corrosion of copper

Scientists from Chung-Ang University, Korea, led by Prof Hyungbin SonKorea, have observed a unique way in which graphene forms a hybrid layer that prevents copper corrosion.

Does graphene cause or prevent the corrosion of copper? New study finally settles the debate image

A challenge with using copper is that its surface oxidizes over time, even under ambient conditions, ultimately leading to its corrosion. Thus, finding a long-term method to protect the exposed surfaces of copper is a valuable goal. One common way of protecting metal surfaces is by coating them with anti-corrosive substances. Graphene is studied extensively as a candidate for anti-corrosive coating, as it serves as a barrier to gas molecules. But, despite these properties, graphene sheets have been said to protect copper from corrosion only over short periods (less than 24 hours). In fact, surprisingly, after this initial period, graphene appears to possibly increase the rate of copper corrosion, which is completely in contrast to its anti-corrosive nature.

Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again! Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!