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:
Versarien has announced that it has signed an agreement with Tunghsu Optoelectronic Technology to further progress their relationship. The agreement supports the memorandum of understanding signed in November last year. The parties intend to establish a joint implementation committee, composed of three members from each firm, with a view to ultimately entering into a manufacturing joint venture. However, Versarien said there can be no guarantee this outcome will ultimately be achieved.
The materials engineering company plans to work with Tunghsu to develop and manufacture in China new generation graphene heaters. These heaters are expected to be based on the micro-flow graphene ink technology from Versarien's subsidiary Cambridge Graphene.
Researchers in India have made graphene field-effect transistors based on discrete inorganic structures that reportedly work for over 10 months. The approach has led them to produce a graphene logic inverter that is stable in ambient conditions.
Conventional electronics are silicon based, due to the ease of doping silicon with either electrons or holes. These two forms of silicon, n- and p-type, are the building blocks of electronic devices. However, it isn’t possible to make silicon electronics on the nanoscale, so many researchers are turning to materials like graphene.
Researchers at Tsinghua University designed graphene-based e-tattoos that act as biosensors. The sensors can collect data related to the user's health, such as skin reactions to medication or to assess the degree of exposure to ultraviolet light.
The use of graphene aids the collection of electric signals and also imparts material properties to the sensors, allowing them to be bent, pressed, and twisted without any loss to sensors functionality. The new sensors have reportedly shown – via as series of tests – good sensitivity to external stimuli like strain, humidity, and temperature. The basis of the sensor is a material matrix composed of a graphene and silk fibroin combination.
Researchers from Jagiellonian University in Poland, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the U.S, Espeem S.A.R.L in Luxembourg and Friedrich Alexander University(FAU) in Germany have designed a method of forming nanographenes on metal oxide surfaces.
The team explains that in order to create an electronic circuit, the molecules of graphene must be synthesized and assembled directly on an insulating or semi-conductive surface. Although metal oxides are the best materials for this purpose, in contrast to metal surfaces, direct synthesis of nanographenes on metal oxide surfaces is not possible as they are considerably less chemically reactive. The researchers would have to carry out the process at high temperatures, which would lead to several uncontrollable secondary reactions. The team has now developed a method for synthesizing nanographenes on non-metallic surfaces, that is insulating surfaces or semi-conductors.
Amsterdam-based RFID-product and IoT-solutions provider Smartrac recently unveiled plans to add environmentally friendly tag options to its offerings, based on graphene inks. Smartrac stated that each of its products that receives a Green Tag will include a published Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to ISO 14040/44.
The Green Tag Program announcement outlined criteria that must be met for a Smartrac product to receive a Green Tag label. In addition to being free of plastic—meaning substrates used must be recyclable or compostable paper—the products must use antennas that do not contain heavy metals. Chemical etching of aluminum antennas is not permitted to allow for complete recycling of aluminum residues. Printable antennas must only be printed directly on recyclable or compostable cardboard using Graphene ink.