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.


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:

Researchers design artificial neuron based on graphene and water

Researchers from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and China's Southeast University have reported a graphene-based aqueous memristive device with long-term and tunable memory, regulated by reversible voltage-induced interfacial acid-base equilibria enabled by selective proton permeation through the graphene. 

Memristive devices, electrical elements whose resistance depends on the history of applied electrical signals, are leading candidates for future data storage and neuromorphic computing. Memristive devices typically rely on solid-state technology, while aqueous memristive devices are crucial for biology-related applications such as next-generation brain-machine interfaces. Recently, nanofluidic devices have been reported in which solvated ion transport exhibits memristive behavior. The challenge associated with these approaches is the complexity of the device fabrication. Realizing memristive behavior in a simple system is highly desirable.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 07,2024

Researchers develop ultra-sensitive graphene-based lead detector

Scientists at the University of California San Diego have developed an ultra-sensitive graphene-based sensor that can detect extraordinarily low concentrations of lead ions in water. The device achieved a record limit of detection of lead down to the femtomolar range, which is said to be a million times more sensitive than previous sensing technologies.

The device in this study consisted of a single layer of graphene mounted on a silicon wafer. The researchers enhanced the sensing capabilities of the graphene layer by attaching a linker molecule to its surface. This linker serves as the anchor for an ion receptor and, ultimately, the lead ions.

Read the full story Posted: Feb 06,2024

Sparc Technologies and Swinburne University team up to advance graphene coatings and composites

Swinburne University of Technology and Sparc Technologies recently announced a collaboration, spearheading the evolution of smart coatings and composites through the Australian Research Council (ARC) research project. The partnership aims to revolutionize key industries, including aerospace, infrastructure, renewable energy, and more. 

Sparc Technologies' state-of-the-art facility enables the mass production of its graphene additive, Ecosparc. Denis Wright, general manager of Graphene Materials at Sparc, stating: “It is a very exciting opportunity to be contributing to this project and developing Ecosparc additives that will impart through their intrinsic properties, intelligence into coatings and composites.”

Read the full story Posted: Feb 03,2024

Researchers review graphene's potential and limitations for cooling solar panels

Researchers at  Monash University Malaysia and Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Management and Technology have studied how graphene and graphene derivatives could be used as materials to reduce the operating temperature of solar panels. They reviewed the limitations and potential of solar module cooling techniques based on graphene and found that high costs and graphene treatments are the main challenges to overcome.

In a recent in-depth review, the team explained that graphene has attracted the interest of the scientific community as a medium to enhance heat transfers in cooling systems. When used for PV cooling applications, graphene can be used in different ways. For example, as a selective absorber coating or embedding it into a working fluid as a nanofluid. Graphene nanoparticles can also be added to thermal interface materials (TIMs) or phase change materials (PCMs) used for solar module cooling. 

Read the full story Posted: Feb 03,2024

Development of graphene-based sensor tattoos for sweat analysis gets funding boost

University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers have received an award to develop a graphene-based sweat monitor tattoos that can be applied to the skin just like a temporary tattoo and assess the molecules present, such as cortisol. The tattoos will aim to give users better insight into their health and serve as a tool for researchers to discover new early indications of diseases.

“There are a lot of vital biomolecules that are present in sweat that we need to measure to really understand overall human performance and correlation to different diseases,” says research lead and assistant professor of biomedical engineering, Dmitry Kireev.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 31,2024

Researchers show potential for coal-based graphene to replace sand in concrete

Rice University researchers have found that graphene derived from metallurgical coke, a coal-based product, could serve not only as a reinforcing additive in cement but also as a replacement for sand in concrete.

"This could have a major impact on one of the biggest industries in the world," said James Tour, Rice's T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor and a professor of chemistry, materials science and nanoengineering. "We compared concrete made using the graphene aggregate substitute with concrete made using suitable sand aggregates, and we found our concrete is 25% lighter but just as tough."

Read the full story Posted: Jan 27,2024

Researchers use graphene electrodes to design neural implant capable of reading brain activity

University of California San Diego researchers have developed a neural implant capable of reading brain activity that could advance research into creating a brain-computer interface (BCI) without being overly invasive.

The new implant consists of a thin transparent strip made of a polymer with several graphene electrodes 20 micrometers in diameter, each of which is connected to a circuit board via tiny wires. The strip sits on the surface of the brain allowing it to detect neural activity consisting of electrical activity and calcium activity. Unlike previous methods, the chip allows scientists to conduct longer experiments without the need to have a subject fixed in place under a microscope.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 25,2024

Researchers design graphene biosensor that uses sound waves for chemical fingerprinting of ultrathin biolayers

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid researchers have reported the development of an electrically tunable graphene-based biosensor that leverages sound waves to provide unprecedented infrared sensitivity and specificity at the single layer limit. By precisely matching the tunable graphene plasmon frequency to target molecular vibrations, even faint spectral fingerprints emerge clearly.

This acoustically activated approach enables precise in situ study of angstrom-scale films, unlocking new infrared applications across chemistry, biology and medicine.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 23,2024

Researchers use graphene to gain insights into superlubricity

Researchers at the UK's University of Leicester, Russia's Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and Kemerovo State University, TerraVox Global in Cyprus, National University of Singapore and the University of Twente in the Netherlands have gained better understanding of superlubricity, where surfaces experience extremely low levels of friction.

The team addressed a longtime mystery in the principles of superlubricity – a state in which two surfaces experience little to almost no friction when sliding across one another. Superlubricity is associated with molecular smooth surfaces such as graphene and has only been observed in a laboratory environment where these surfaces can be synthesized. In various technological applications, this phenomenon could potentially reduce friction up to 1000 – 10000 times, as compared to conventional friction in machines and mechanisms.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 20,2024