Graphene and hBN join to create unique ‘petri-dish’

Researchers at The University of Manchester and the NGI have shown how graphene and boron nitride can be used for observing nanomaterials in liquids, by creating a ‘petri-dish’ of sorts.

Graphene and hBN ''petri-dishes'' image

Scanning / transmission electron microscopy (S/TEM) is one of only few techniques that allows imaging and analysis of individual atoms. However, the S/TEM instrument requires a high vacuum to protect the electron source and to prevent electron scattering from molecular interactions. Several studies have previously revealed that the structure of functional materials at room temperature in a vacuum can significantly different from that in their normal liquid environment. So, it is important to be able to study the structure at the required state.

Graphene-enhanced shoes poised to start a footwear revolution

The University of Manchester has teamed up with British sportswear brand Inov-8 to become the world's first company to incorporate graphene into running and fitness shoes. Laboratory tests have shown that the rubber outsoles of the newly developed shoes, planned to arrive on the market in 2018, are stronger, more stretchy and more resistant to wear.

NGI and Inov8 develop graphene-enhance shoes image

Michael Price, inov-8 Product and Marketing Director, said: “Off-road runners and fitness athletes live at the sporting extreme and need the stickiest outsole grip possible to optimize their performance, be that when running on wet trails or working out in sweaty gyms. For too long, they have had to compromise this need for grip with the knowledge that such rubber wears down quickly... Now, utilizing the groundbreaking properties of graphene, there is no compromise. The new rubber we have developed with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester allows us to smash the limits of grip. Our lightweight G-Series shoes deliver a combination of traction, stretch and durability never seen before in sports footwear. 2018 will be the year of the world’s toughest grip.”

NGI and William Blythe to collaborate on graphene-enhanced energy storage project

The NGI at The University of Manchester and William Blythe have announced the start of a new joint research project, targeting the development of high capacity graphene-related materials for use in the electric vehicle market.

The project will combine William Blythe’s core capabilities in inorganic synthetic chemistry and their graphene-oxide with the specialist experience of The University of Manchester’s Professor Robert Dryfe and the energy storage team at the NGI.

Manchester team creates graphene oxide membranes that can filter organic solvents

Researchers at the National Graphene Institute and School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science at The University of Manchester have developed an ultra-thin membrane using graphene-oxide sheets, that were assembled in a way that they were able to completely remove various organic dyes, dissolved in methanol, which were as small as a nanometre. This is exciting as GO membranes were once thought to be permeable only to aqueous solutions, but the researchers developed a new form of graphene oxide membrane that can filter organic solvents.

Manchetser and NGI team created unique GO membranes image

In the newly developed ultrathin membranes, graphene-oxide sheets are assembled in such a way that pinholes formed during the assembly are interconnected by graphene nanochannels, which produces an atomic-scale sieve allowing the large flow of solvents through the membrane. When used to filter Cognac and whisky, the membrane permitted alcohol to pass through but trapped the larger molecules that gives the whisky its color. Professor Nair, which led the group, said that "the clear whisky smells similar to the original whisky but we are not allowed to drink it in the lab, however it was a funny Friday night experiment!”

NPL & NGI compose a good practice guide for graphene metrology

The National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester has joined forces with the NPL to develop a guide, as part of NPL's good practice guide series, that conveys "a detailed description of how to determine the key structural properties of graphene, so that the graphene community can adopt a common metrological approach that allows the comparison of commercially available graphene materials. This guide brings together the accepted metrology in this area".

NPL's good practice guide image

The guide, titled “Characterization of the Structure of Graphene”, follows last month's release of the NPL's work on the first ISO (International Organization for Standardization) graphene standard. It describes the high-accuracy and precision required for verification of material properties and enables the development of other faster quality control techniques in the future. The guide is intended to form a bedrock for future interlaboratory comparisons and international standards.

XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009