Article last updated on: Jan 23, 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. 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.

The latest Graphene Application news:

Newly designed telescope with graphene sensors to be used in space in the near future

New equipment developed in Brazil - the Solar-T - will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) to measure solar flares. It is estimated that the Sun-THz, the name given to the new photometric telescope, will be launched in 2022 on one of the missions to the ISS and will remain there to take consistent measurements. The telescope contains graphene sensors that are highly sensitive to terahertz frequencies, able to detect polarization and be adjusted electronically.

The Sun THz is an enhanced version of the Solar-T, a double photometric telescope that was launched in 2016 by NASA in Antarctica in a stratospheric balloon that flew 12 days at an altitude of 40,000 m. The Solar-T captured the energy emitted by solar flares at two unprecedented frequencies: from 3 to 7 terahertz (THz) that correspond to a segment of far infrared radiation. The Solar-T was designed and built in Brazil by researchers at CRAAM together with colleagues at the Center for Semiconductor Components at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP). The new equipment will be the product of a partnership with the Lebedev Physics Institute in Russia.

ICFO to demonstrate graphene wearables and sensors at MWC 2019

The MWC 2019 is the world's largest event for the mobile industry, organized by the GSMA. It features a large exhibition, conference programme and networking opportunities. The Graphene Flagship partners with the MWC event and will host a graphene pavilion in the exhibition to showcase graphene materials and developers.

ICFO to demonstrate graphene wearables and sensors at MWC 2019 image

This year, one of the exhibitors in the Graphene Pavilion will be ICFO, showcasing prototypes like health monitoring wearables, next-generation tiny spectrometers and camera sensors.

CPI, Haydale and others collaborate on Smart Filter project

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has collaborated on a project to advance the development of a low-cost, self-cleaning coating technology for industrial filter membranes.

CPI, Haydale and others collaborate on Smart Filter project image

The Smart Filter project used graphene and its derivatives to create a coated filter membrane that offers increased resistance to fouling for industrial waste water treatment. Membrane filters are used in a number of industrial separation applications but are afflicted by fouling, which typically lowers throughput or increases energy consumption, and reduces filter life. Focusing upon oil water separation and nuclear waste water treatment, the collaboration, with G2O Water Technologies, Haydale and Sellafield, developed a repeatable, reproducible and scalable process to make coated filter membranes, which delivered a 30% improvement in permeability when compared to an equivalent uncoated filter.

DTU team protects graphene with hBN for future electronics

Graphene Flagship researchers at DTU, Denmark, solved the problem of graphene's accumulation of defects and impurities due to environmental exposure by protecting it with insulating layers of hexagonal boron nitride, another two-dimensional material with insulating properties.

DTU team protects graphene with hBN for future electronics image

Peter Bøggild, researcher at Graphene Flagship partner DTU and coauthor of the paper, explains that although 'graphene is a fantastic material that could play a crucial role in making new nano-sized electronics, it is still extremely difficult to control its electrical properties.' Since 2010, scientists at DTU have tried to tailor the electrical properties of graphene, by making a very fine pattern of holes, so that channels through which an electric power can flow freely are formed. 'Creating nanostructured graphene turned out to be amazingly difficult, since even small errors wash out all the properties we designed it to have,' comments Bøggild.

Talga reports positive test results on its graphene silicon Li-ion battery anode project

Talga Resources has revealed new test results on the ongoing optimization of its graphene silicon Li-ion battery anode product, Talnode™- Si. According to Talga, the battery anode product returns further performance gains, now delivering ~70% more energy density than commercial graphite-only anodes.

ts graphene silicon Li-ion battery anode product, Talnode™- Si image

The product reportedly provides a “drop in” solution for improving current Li-ion battery performance. Commercial samples under confidentiality and material transfer agreements are scheduled to commence delivery around the end of February 2019 - recipients are said to include some of the world’s largest electronic corporations.

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