NIST team finds that graphene can stretch to be a tunable ion filter

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have conducted simulations suggesting that graphene can be modified with special pores to act as a tunable filter or strainer for ions in a liquid.

NIST team finds that graphene can stretch to be a tunable ion filter image

The concept could have applications like nanoscale mechanical sensors, drug delivery, water purification and sieves or pumps for ion mixtures similar to biological ion channels, which are critical to the function of living cells.

Graphene to enable next-gen reflective-type displays that operate faster and at much higher resolution than currently possible

A joint collaboration of researchers from SCALE Nanotech, Graphenea and TU Delft have used graphene to make reflective-type displays that operate faster and at much higher resolution than existing technologies.

Graphene to enable next-gen reflective-type displays that operate faster and at much higher resolution than currently possible image2500ppi GIMOD prototype showcased at the Mobile World Congress. Credit: Graphene Flagship

Displays consume the most power in electronic gadgets. Portable devices like smartphones and VR visors therefore require most of the energy from batteries. As an alternative solution, reflective-type displays (like those in e-book readers) consume much less power, though they cannot deliver video. Reflective displays that offer the specifications of standard technologies (OLED, LCD) do not exist yet, but graphene may open the door to such possibilities.

Grafoid and Stria Lithium co-develop graphene-based membranes that improve lithium extraction

Grafoid logoGrafoid and Stria Lithium have announced the successful co-development of an innovative graphene-based filtration membrane to separate Magnesium and Calcium from salars. Developed in concert with Grafoid Inc. – a related company sharing common directors and an active partner in the 2GL Green Energy Technology Strategic Alliance – this filtration membrane functions as a precursor that promotes efficiencies within the conventional process of recovering Lithium from Salts.

The Companies explain that the key method of recovering commercial lithium has remained the same for over half a century: by evaporating brines collected from salars and salt lakes in evaporation ponds. However, this method is time consuming and can take a year or more - leading to large amounts of salt waste. In addition, Magnesium and Calcium are also present and form impurities that must be refined out in the process. With the demand for lithium outpacing the recovery rate of lithium from brine – faster and more efficient methods of recovery will be critical to supply the growing demand.

Greek researchers develop laser-based technique for drilling holes in graphene

Researchers from the Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas, Patras, Greece and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece have developed a technique for creating nanopores in CVD grown graphene. The technique is based on femtosecond (fs) laser treatment of graphene.

Greek team drills holes in graphene using laser image

CVD graphene is placed onto Si/SiO2 using conventional dry transferring techniques. Then, it is treated in air with 80 fs laser pulses at high repetition rate. By focusing the barrage of fs laser pulses onto the graphene, circular patterns are formed.

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.