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.
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).
Such graphene-enhanced composite materials can find uses in aerospace, building materials, mobile devices, and many other 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.
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.
The latest Graphene Application news:
Skeleton Technologies, an Estonia-based company that produces graphene-based supercapacitors and energy storage systems, is to invest €25 million in its plant located in the German state of Saxony. With this investment, Skeleton aims to expand its research and development as well as scale its production.
"In 2017, we announced our first stage in Saxony — €6.2 million were invested in the production of ultracapacitors in Großröhrsdorf," Skeleton co-founder and CEO Taavi Madiberk said in a press release. "We have successfully entered the market and helped save fuel and reduce emissions from buses, trucks, railway vehicles and industrial machinery".
Researchers from Nankai University in China and Rice University in the U.S. have developed a type of graphene-based foam that retains its texture when exposed to extremely cold temperatures.
The researchers note that almost all materials become more brittle and stiffer when exposed to very cold temperatures, often leading to loss of strength. In this new work, the researchers sought to find a material that would spring back after being crushed while exposed to extreme temperatures. To that end, they turned to graphene as a possible solution.
Scientists from ICFO have developed a novel graphene-enabled photodetector that operates at room temperature, and is sad to be highly sensitive, very fast, with a wide dynamic range and covers a broad range of THz frequencies.
Detecting terahertz (THz) light is extremely useful for two main reasons: First, THz technology is becoming a key element in applications regarding security (such as airport scanners), wireless data communication, and quality control but current THz detectors have shown strong limitations in terms of simultaneously meeting the requirements for sensitivity, speed, spectral range, being able to operate at room temperature, etc. Second, it is a very safe type of radiation due to its low-energy photons, with more than a hundred times less energy than that of photons in the visible light range.
Researchers at Purdue University’s Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories are developing a new propellant formulation method that will use graphene foams to power spacecraft. The research is reportedly showing success at increasing burn rate of solid propellants that are used to fuel rockets and spacecraft.
“Our propulsion and physics researchers came together to focus on a material that has not previously been used in rocket propulsion, and it is demonstrating strong results,” said Li Qiao, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics in Purdue’s College of Engineering.
MediaDevil, a UK-based maker of various phone, laptop and tablet accessories, is selling the Artisanphonics CB-01 Earphones - Noise-isolating Premium Wood Earphones with Nanene Graphene-Enhanced Audio.
These earphones, enhanced with Versarien's Nanene material, reportedly sport an earphone diaphragm that is thinner and more flexible than traditional materials can allow. MediaDevil says that independent testing conducted by a leading British premium audio company found that, remarkably, Nanene enhances both the high-end (treble) and the low-end (bass) of the audio frequency wave.