Graphene-Info is happy to give the stage to talented young graphene researchers, especially with such commitment and passion as Roberto Pezone from TU Delft, who has agreed to chat with us and answer a few questions about his background, work and collaboration with the Graphene Flagship.
Roberto Pezone checking a wafer at its initial fabrication stages
Q: Thank you for this interview Roberto! Very nice to e-meet you. We know you have been involved with graphene research for some time, can you give us a quick overview of your graphene research interests and projects?
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss my research. Within the Graphene Flagship's Work Package 6 (core 3), my primary focus lies in integrating graphene into sensors, particularly microphones. My main objective is to develop methods that enable the seamless integration of graphene on a wafer-scale while thoroughly exploring the advantages and disadvantages associated with such approaches.
In addition to developing fabrication techniques, I am also highly interested in characterizing the potential of graphene for acoustic devices. This type of research plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between graphene's exceptional properties and its practical utilization in the industry, unlocking higher performance and new sensor concepts.
Haydale has announced it has supplied audio equipment manufacturer Rega Research ("Rega") with its mechanically enhanced prepreg for improved sound quality on its latest turntable.
Using Haydale's HDPlas technology, the graphene-enhanced prepreg has been applied into the manufacturing process for Rega's award-winning turntables. The mechanically enhanced prepreg has been combined into the stressed skin design of the plinth and bonded to the core material to increase the stiffness of the part by 11% reducing resonance and improving sound quality.
LG Electronics USA has announced its 2022 lineup of TONE Free true wireless earbuds, to be rolled out in the US starting September 2022.
The flagship model, TONE Free T90, is said to deliver impressive sound thanks to several upgrades, including the use of graphene to reduce vibration. The use of graphene helps reduce vibration, while Dolby Head Tracking support keeps the feel of music around the users, even when they move.
Iceni Labs, a spin-out from Imperial College London, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore’s 2D Materials (2DM) that will see the companies combine their respective expertise to develop and market graphene-based products for the defense, automotive and aerospace markets in Europe, North America and the Middle East.
Iceni Labs, a spin-out from Imperial College London, aims to exploit the properties of graphene for devices aimed at the defense market. 2DM manufactures graphene as an additive to enhance the properties of many industrial materials. The MoU will explore the potential to use 2DM’s graphene as an industrial additive to enhance the properties of Iceni Labs-developed industrial products including microphones, weapons optics devices and coatings.
Ora Graphene, producer of free-standing graphene membranes, has announced the closing of its CAD$3 million (around USD$2.46 million) Seed financing round. The deal was led by Ecofuel Fund along with Export Development Canada (EDC), BDC Capital and certain members of New York Angels. Existing investors TandemLaunch, and BoxOne Ventures also participated in the round. In conjunction with the financing, the company was recently awarded a Sustainable Development Technology Canada grant to explore new areas of graphene applications for its technology.
Ora has produced what it refers to as 'the largest sheets of free-standing graphene demonstrating incredible new material properties for multi-purpose commercial utilization'. GrapheneQ membranes have already been shown to significantly improve sound quality and reduce energy consumption for global manufacturers of consumer electronics, with applications being developed for exciting new markets opportunities.
GraphAudio was established in 2016 to commercialize graphene-based acoustic products based on technology that originated from UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab. GraphAudio's technology enables electrostatic micro transducers that use CVD graphene sheets.
GraphAudio's CEO is Ramesh G. Ramchandani, that previously held executive leadership positions at International Rectifier, Semicoa, nPlay Technologies, ZiLOG and ON Semiconductor, and was a senior advisor for consumer and commercial AI at Google X. Following is an interview with Ramesh to discuss GraphAudio's technology, business and roadmap.
A team of Penn State researchers has designed an acoustic equivalent of magic-angle bilayer graphene. Two graphene sheets stacked on top of each other, called bilayer graphene, exhibit unique properties when one of the layers is twisted at a certain angle â a magic angle. The study of magic and other angle misalignments between two layers of material and their effects on material properties has been dubbed twistronics, a rapidly expanding field of condensed matter physics.
Examining analogues of condensed matter physics concepts can give us new ideas and applications in acoustics, said Yun Jing, associate professor of acoustics and biomedical engineering.
When speaking of graphene in terms of commercialization, the general impression is that "a killer application has not yet been found". While this is not a false concept, it does not do justice with the now-budding graphene world. It can easily be stated that many graphene applications are being developed. This has been true for years, but various commercial products are starting to pop up, hopefully heralding the beginning of a more steady stream of commercialization.
Among these applications, one can point to cooling technology like Cryorig's CPU cooling system or Huawei's Mate 30 X smartphone, which sports a graphene film cooling technology. Various footwear and sports equipment products have also been launched, along with more technical products like oil additives and coatings. The list goes on and on, and there are even graphene-enhanced sanitary napkins on the market!
Norway-based Graphene Oxide developer Abalonyx reports that its graphene oxide sales have increased by about 80 % in 2018, and this follows a 70% increase in 2017 compared to 2016. The company expects to see further strong sales growth in 2019.
Abalonyx says that over 90% of its sales derive from returning industrial partners. The company also revealed two of these customers: ORA Graphene Audio with its GO membranes and Provexa AB which developed an anti-corrosion protection coating that is now being used on Scania trucks.