University of Illinois team finds that defects in graphene membranes may improve biomolecule transport

Researchers at the University of Illinois examined how tiny defects in graphene membranes, formed during fabrication, could be used to improve molecule transport. They found that the defects make a big difference in how molecules move along a membrane surface. Instead of trying to fix these flaws, the team set out to use them to help direct molecules into the membrane pores.

Nanopore membranes have generated interest in biomedical research because they help researchers investigate individual molecules - atom by atom - by pulling them through pores for physical and chemical characterization. This technology could ultimately lead to devices that can quickly sequence DNA, RNA or proteins.

Directa Plus signs contract to use graphene product to recover crude oil from European wells

Directa Plus logoDirecta Plus recently announced that it has been awarded a supply and service contract from an unnamed international oil and gas company. The contract will involve treating and recovering crude oil from producing wells onshore across Europe.

Specifically, Directa Plus will be paid EUR150,000 to use its graphene-based Grafysorber technology, a product that is used to treat water contaminated by hydrocarbons, to treat several thousand cubic meters of sludges and by-products over the next six months.

Graphene research groups from Manchester University win £70,000 award

Two teams from the University of Manchester are the winners of a £70,000 prize for novel applications of graphene. Both teams are addressing key societal challenges on future energy and food security: seeking breakthroughs by using 2D materials to produce hydrogen to generate energy, and by designing polymer hydrogels to increase food production.

The Eli and Britt Harari Enterprise Award, in association with Nobel Laureate Sir Andre Geim, is awarded each year to help commercialize graphene concepts from Manchester University students, researchers and graduates. The prize is supported by former Manchester physics student, Dr. Eli Harari, founder of global flash-memory giant, SanDisk

Versarien to develop graphene-enhanced sportswear with Asian partner

Versarien LogoVersarien recently shared it has signed a letter of intent with its textile collaboration partner to launch sportswear containing Versarien's graphene ink technology.

Versarien said the letter is non-binding, covering the intention of Versarien and the undisclosed Asia-headquartered company partner to "enter into a formal commercial relationship regarding an initial launch of high performance sportswear".

Graphene may be the key to next-gen membranes that filter c02

A way to cut CO2 levels, produced from burning fossil fuels and released into the atmosphere, is through carbon capture, a chemical technique that removes CO2 from emissions ("postcombustion"). The captured CO2 can then be recycled or stored in gas or liquid form, a process known as sequestration.

Graphene helps co2 filtering membranes get more efficient imageCO2-selective polymeric chains anchored on graphene effectively pull CO2 from a flue gas mixture. Credit: KV Agrawal (EPFL)

Carbon capture can be done using high-performance membranes, which are polymer filters that can specifically pick out CO2 from a mix of gases, such as those emitted from a factory's flue. These membranes are environmentally friendly, they don't generate waste, they can intensify chemical processes, and can be used in a decentralized fashion. They are now considered as one of the most energy-efficient routes for reducing CO2 emissions. Now, scientists (led by Kumar Varoon Agrawal) at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a new class of high-performance membranes that exceed post-combustion capture targets by a significant margin. The membranes are based on single-layer graphene with a selective layer thinner than 20 nm, and have highly tunable chemistry, meaning that they can pave the way for next-generation high-performance membranes for several critical separations.

Stanford team finds novel form of magnetism in twisted bi-layer graphene

Stanford physicists recently observed a novel form of magnetism, predicted but never seen before, that is generated when two graphene sheets are carefully stacked and rotated to a special angle. The researchers suggest the magnetism, called orbital ferromagnetism, could prove useful for certain applications, such as quantum computing.

bi-layer graphene between hBN gives off orbital ferromagnetism imageOptical micrograph of the assembled stacked structure, which consists of two graphene sheets sandwiched between two protective layers made of hexagonal boron nitride. (Image: Aaron Sharpe)

“We were not aiming for magnetism. We found what may be the most exciting thing in my career to date through partially targeted and partially accidental exploration,” said study leader David Goldhaber-Gordon, a professor of physics at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. “Our discovery shows that the most interesting things turn out to be surprises sometimes.”