Article last updated on: Jul 12, 2020

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 - of both electricity and heat. All of these properties are exciting researchers and businesses around the world - as graphene has the potential to 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 can be used to enhance the strength of other materials. Dozens of researchers have demonstrated that adding even a trace amount of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make these materials much stronger - or lighter (as you can use a smaller amount of material to achieve the same strength).

applications of composites image

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

Thermal applications

Graphene is the most heat conductive found to date. As graphene is also strong and light, it means that it is a great material for making heat-spreading solutions, such as heat sinks or heat dissipation films. 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, have adopted graphene-based thermal films.

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Energy storage

Since graphene is the world's thinnest material, it also extremely high surface-area to volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material for use 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 promise for additional 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:

Princeton team gains better understanding of superconductivity in 'magic angle' graphene

Princeton researchers have dissipated some of the mystery around 'magic angle' graphene's superconductivity by showing an uncanny resemblance between it and the superconductivity of high temperature superconductors. Magic graphene may hold the key to unlocking new mechanisms of superconductivity, including high temperature superconductivity.

Ali Yazdani, Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Complex Materials at Princeton University, led the research. He and his team have studied many different types of superconductors over the years and have recently turned their attention to magic bilayer graphene. “Some have argued that magic bilayer graphene is actually an ordinary superconductor disguised in an extraordinary material,” said Yazdani, “but when we examined it microscopically it has many of the characteristics of high temperature cuprate superconductors. It is a déjà vu moment.”

GraphWear closes $20.5M Series B for a needle-free, graphene-powered glucose monitor

Graphwear, a startup developing graphene-based needle-free approaches to glucose monitoring, recently closed a $20.5 million Series B round. GraphWear is developing a skin-surface-level wearable made of graphene. The sensor is small, about the size of an Apple Watch — but the key piece of technology is actually housed on the bottom. It’s a thin slice of graphene that fits onto the back of the watch, or onto a sticker that can be worn on the abdomen.

Graphwear raises $20 million to promote graphene-based glucose sensors imageImage by Graphwear

This Series B round will be focused on helping the company build upon previous validation studies of the wearable, completing a pivotal trial and submitting for FDA clearance. The round was led by Mayfield, with participation from MissionBio Capital, Builders VC and VSC Ventures.

Ford Motor develops graphene-enhanced PU foam that lowers noise and weight in vehicles

At a recent conference, Ford Motor presented its innovative graphene-enhanced polyurethane (PU) foam that reduces noise in automobiles while also lowering their weight. The material was chosen as a finalist for the Polyurethane Innovation Award, given by the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) during the conference. The foam is said to be used in all of Ford's North American vehicles.

One of the biggest challenges in developing the foam was dispersing a nanomaterial like graphene into a viscous polymer and keeping it from collapsing during mixing, said Alper Kiziltas, technical expert, sustainability and emerging materials at Ford.

Graphenano develops graphene-enhanced dental technology

Spain-based Graphenano is studying the use of graphene nanotechnology in dentistry. At the 2021 International Dental Show in Cologne, Graphenano Dental exhibited its products, such as the G-CAM disc for CAD/CAM milling systems, which relies on this technology.

Graphenano's G-CAM dental solutions image

“Unlike zirconia, for example, which is still widely used, our graphene nano-reinforced biopolymer G-CAM disc has excellent blending properties,” explained Graphenano Dental General Manager Jesús Martínez. He went on to say that “the appearance is extremely natural and resolves all the mechanical, physico-chemical and biological failures of the rest of the materials currently used in the industry”.

An update on Skeleton Technologies' graphene-based supercapacitors

Germany-based Skeleton Technologies has been on the forefront of graphene-based supercapacitors development for many years, and the company recently made some major announcements, including a large (>€70 million) financing round, the super-battery project and several strategic customers and projects - including ones with Medcom, Skoda, CAF, Wrightbus and Marubeni.

Skeleton graphene supercapacitors SkelMod 162V photo

We recently talked with Skeleton's VP of automotive products, Sebastian Pohlmann, who updated us on the company's business and technology.