Stretchable Li-ion battery enhanced with graphene and CNTs to benefit wearable electronics

Scientists in the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have worked with graphene and carbon nanotubes to develop a working lithium-ion battery that can be stretched by up to 50% without damage to any of the components. According to the scientists, the battery represents a significant step in the development of wearable or body-implantable electronic devices.

KIST team develops stretchable Li-ion battery with graphene and CNTs image

Rather than trying to add inherently stretchable materials such as rubber to the battery components, the group focused on creating an “accordion-like” structure, adding stretchability to materials that are not inherently stretchable. Using graphene and carbon nanotubes, the scientists were able to construct a honeycomb-shaped composite framework, which was then compressed inwardly like an accordion to impart the stretchable properties.

New grahene-based platform to open the door to various new applications

Penn State researchers, in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Oak Ridge National Lab, have developed an atomically thin materials platform developed that could enable a range of new applications in biomolecular sensing, quantum phenomena, catalysis and nonlinear optics.

2D metals open pathways to new science imageA single atomic layer of metal is capped by a layer of graphene, allowing for new layered materials with unique properties. Image: Yihuang Xiong/Penn State

“We have leveraged our understanding of a special type of graphene, dubbed epitaxial graphene, to stabilize unique forms of atomically thin metals,” said Natalie Briggs, a doctoral candidate and co-lead author on a paper in the journal Nature Materials. “Interestingly, these atomically thin metals stabilize in structures that are completely different from their bulk versions, and thus have very interesting properties compared to what is expected in bulk metals.”

New method produces graphene on surfaces for precise electronics applications

Scientists at Rice University, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT Knoxville) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have demonstrated the use of a very small visible beam to burn graphene into microscopic patterns.

Schematic of the method for finely creating graphene with a small laser imageScientists recorded the formation of laser-induced graphene made with a small laser mounted to a scanning electron microscope. Image credit: the Tour Group

The labs of Rice chemist James Tour, which discovered the original method to turn a common polymer into graphene in 2014, and Tennessee/ORNL materials scientist Philip Rack revealed they can now watch the conductive material form as it makes small traces of LIG in a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Special substrates enable large single crystal bi-/tri-layer graphene growth

Researchers of the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials (CMCM) within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea), in collaboration with UNIST and Sungkyunkwan University teams, have reported the fabrication and use of single crystal copper-nickel alloy foil substrates for the growth of large-area, single crystal bilayer and trilayer graphene films.

The growth of large area graphene films with a precisely controlled number of layers and stacking order can open new possibilities in electronics and photonics but remains a challenge. This study showed an example of the synthesis of bi- and trilayer graphene sheets larger than a centimeter, with layers piled up in a specific manner, namely AB- and ABA-stacking.

New method uses hydrogen plasma to smooth out wrinkles in graphene

Researchers from Nanjing University in China have developed a method to make large graphene films free of any wrinkles. The ultra-smooth films could enable large-scale production of electronic devices that harness the unique physical and chemical properties of graphene and other 2D materials.

Wrinkles  disappear when graphene is treated with a hydrogen plasma imageWrinkles in graphene films grown via chemical vapor deposition appear as jagged white lines at the top of this atomic force microscope image (left), but they disappear when the material is treated with a hydrogen plasma (right). Credit: Nature

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is the best-known method for making high-quality graphene sheets. It typically involves growing graphene by pumping methane gas onto copper substrates heated to temperatures around 1,000 °C, and then transferring the graphene to another surface such as silicon. But some of the graphene sticks to the copper surface, and as the graphene and copper expand and contract at different rates, wrinkles form in the graphene sheets. Such wrinkles often present hurdles for charge carriers and lower the film’s conductivity. Other researchers have tried to reduce wrinkles using low growth temperatures or special copper substrates, but the wrinkles have proven difficult to eliminate entirely, according to Libo Gao, a physicist at Nanjing University.

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