Chinese scientists design a flexible graphene-based energy storage membrane

Jul 19, 2017

Researchers from Tsinghua University in China have designed a low-cost energy storage device using a TiO2-assisted UV reduction of sandwiched graphene components. The sandwich structure consists of two active layers of reduced graphene oxide hybridized with TiO2, with a graphene oxide separator (rGO-TiO2/rGO/rGO-TiO2). In the device, the separator layer also acts as a reservoir for the electrolyte, which affects ion diffusion—a known problem for layered membrane devices—and affects both the capacity and rate performance.

Graphene flexible supercapacitor membrane process image

The team explained that a step-by-step vacuum filtration process is used to form the membrane structure, and the amount of graphene oxide used in the filtration solutions can be adjusted to precisely tune the thickness of each layer. Irradiation of the dried membrane with UV light then reduces the graphene oxide to rGO with assistance from the TiO2.

Graphene Flagship research teams prepare to test graphene's potential for aerospace applications

Jul 08, 2017

The Graphene Flagship has announced preparations for two new experiments in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), to test the viability of graphene for space applications. Both experiments will launch between 6-17th November 2017, testing graphene in zero-gravity conditions to determine its potential in space applications.

Graphene Flagship aerospace experiments image

One of the two experiments (named GrapheneX) will be fully student-led, by a team of Graphene Flagship graduate students from Delft Technical University in the Netherlands. The team will use microgravity conditions in the ZARM Drop Tower (Bremen, Germany) to test graphene for light sails. By shining laser light on suspended graphene-membranes from Flagship partner Graphenea, the experiment will test how much thrust can be generated, which could lead to a new way of propelling satellites in space using light from lasers or the sun.

MIT team uses graphene to create improved membranes

Jun 29, 2017

Researchers from MIT have fabricated a functional dialysis membrane from a sheet of graphene. The team’s membrane is able to filter out nanometer-sized molecules from aqueous solutions up to 10 times faster than state-of-the-art membranes, with the graphene itself being up to 100 times faster. The graphene membrane is also very thin; It's less than 1 nanometer thick, while the thinnest existing membranes are about 20 nanometers thick.

MIT's graphene membrane image

Dialysis can be generally described as the process by which molecules filter out of one solution by diffusing through a membrane, into a more dilute solution. The most recognizable form is hemodialysis, which removes waste from blood, but scientists also use dialysis for many other applications, like purifying drugs, removing residue from chemical solutions, and more, typically by allowing the materials to pass through a porous membrane.

ORA launches a highly successful crowdfunding campaign for its graphene-enhanced headphones

Jun 26, 2017

ORA, Canada-based developer of graphene-enhanced audio equipment, recently unveiled its graphene oxide-based composite material, dubbed grapheneQ. A few days ago, the company launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for graphene-enhanced wireless Bluetooth earphones that promise comfort, high fidelity and long battery life, which has since been doing extremely well and (at the time of writing this post) has already tripled its mark!

ORA's graphene headphones image

The product is regarded as the first commercial audio product to use graphene, and is now available at the "early bird" price of $199 (retail price should be $499). The ORA Headphones feature GrapheneQ membranes for excellent tonality and superior dampening, high efficiency drivers for extended battery life, touchpad controls to skip songs, control volume and answer calls, high quality built-in microphone for hands-free calling, and ear-shaped design optimized for fit and ergonomics.

Tackling graphene oxide's flammability issue may open the door to various applications

May 21, 2017

Researchers from the University of Arkansas have tackled the issue of graphene oxide's flammability; The team explains that scaling up the production of graphene-based materials is often problematic and dangerous due to GO's tendency to become explosive once airborne, so solving this problem may prove important.

In their work, the team established a relatively simple method to cross-link GO with Al3+ cations, in one step, into a freestanding flexible membrane. This membrane resists in-air burning on an open flame, at which non-cross-linked GO was burnt out within ∼5 s. With the improved thermal and water stabilities, the cross-linked GO film can help advance high-temperature fuel cells, electronic packaging, etc.

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