Researchers develop a technique to fabricate large squares of graphene riddled with controlled holes

Researchers at MIT have found a way to directly “pinprick” microscopic holes into graphene as the material is grown in the lab. Using this technique, they have fabricated relatively large sheets of graphene (roughly the size of a postage stamp), with pores that could make filtering certain molecules out of solutions vastly more efficient.

Holes would typically be considered unwanted defects, but the MIT team has found that certain defects in graphene can be an advantage in fields such as dialysis. Typically, much thicker polymer membranes are used in laboratories to filter out specific molecules from solution, such as proteins, amino acids, chemicals, and salts. If it could be tailored with selectively-sized pores that let through certain molecules but not others, graphene could substantially improve separation membrane technology.

Ionic Industries and Clean TeQ form a JV focused on graphene-based water treatment

Ionic Industries logoClean TeQ and Ionic Industries have formed a Joint Venture to progress the commercialization of graphene-based water treatment technologies.

The Companies stated that move follows the last 18 months in which Clean TeQ and Ionic have undertaken an extensive program of work together with Monash University to develop, manufacture and apply graphene oxide membranes for water filtration applications.

Project NanoGraM promotes applications of suspended graphene membranes

Graphenea, in collaboration with industrial and academic partners (Infineon Technologies, WITec, RWTH Aachen University and Simune Atomistics), announced the successful completion of project NanoGraM that focused on nano/microelectromechanical (NEMS/MEMS) devices based on graphene. The project focused on three specific device concepts for potential future products: graphene microphones, graphene-membrane pressure sensors and graphene-membrane Hall sensors.

Project NanoGram image

The target markets for these devices include portable electronics (smartphones, laptops), automotive, industrial, and smart homes, among others.

Vollebak launches a graphene-enhanced jacket

Vollebak, a sports gear manufacturer with an affinity towards using next-gen materials and technologies, is now selling (for 595 euros!) a graphene-enhanced jacket that according to the company, can perform functions like absorbing heat and then warming you up over time, conducting electricity, repelling bacteria, and dissipating your body’s excess humidity.

Vollebak's graphene-enhanced jacket image

The process of developing Vollebak’s jacket, according to the company’s cofounders, brothers Steve and Nick Tidball, took years of intensive research. The jacket is reportedly made out of a two-sided material, which the company invented during the extensive R&D process. The graphene side is gray, while the other side appears matte black. To create it, the scientists turned raw graphite into graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) that were then blended with polyurethane to create a membrane. That, in turn, is bonded to nylon to form the other side of the material, which Vollebak says alters the properties of the nylon itself. “Adding graphene to the nylon fundamentally changes its mechanical and chemical properties–a nylon fabric that couldn’t naturally conduct heat or energy, for instance, now can,” the company claims.

Team finds that an electric field applied to a tiny hole in a graphene membrane could compress water molecules

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed new theories regarding the compression of water under a high-gradient electric field. They found that a high electric field applied to a tiny hole in a graphene membrane would compress the water molecules travelling through the pore by 3%. The predicted water compression may eventually prove useful in high-precision filtering of biomolecules for biomedical research.

Compression of water under a high-gradient electric field image

The team commented: "This is an unexpected phenomenon, contrary to what we thought we knew about nanopore transport. It took three years to work out what it was the simulations were showing us. After exploring many potential solutions, the breakthrough came when we realized that we should not assume water is incompressible. Now that we understand what's happening in the computer simulations, we are able to reproduce this phenomenon in theoretical calculations."

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