Graphene-based concrete used in a commercial setting for the first time

Construction company Nationwide Engineering has reported the laying of the world's first graphene-enhanced concrete slab engineered for sustainability in a commercial setting.

Team from The University of Manchester and Nationwide Engineering laying the world's first graphene concrete imageTeam from The University of Manchester and Nationwide Engineering laying the world's first engineered graphene concrete in a commercial setting. Credit: The University of Manchester/Nationwide Engineering

The venue for this innovation milestone is located a couple of miles east of the ancient monument of Stonehenge - the new Southern Quarter gym in Amesbury's Solstice Park, owned and run by military veterans and due to open in summer 2021. This enterprise has been made possible by a joint venture between Nationwide Engineering and The University of Manchester.

Brazil's Gerdau launches new graphene company

Brazil’s largest steel producer, Gerdau, has launched a new company called Gerdau Graphene, which will develop and market products based on graphene materials.

The new company will also work in partnership with the University of Manchester as part of a global strategic alliance, with the aim of becoming a leading developer of graphene-enhanced products in the Americas.

Graphene 'smart surfaces' display a wide range of tunability

Researchers at The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute have created optical devices with a unique range of tunability, covering the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light.

Multispectral graphene-based electro-optical surfaces image

The new study lists the possible applications for this ‘smart surface’ technology, that range from next-generation display devices to dynamic thermal blankets for satellites and multi-spectral adaptive camouflage.

Inov-8 launches new graphene-enhanced trail running shoes

The collaboration between the University of Manchester and British sportswear brand Inov-8 started in 2017 and has already produced the G-Series range of graphene-enhanced shoes as well as a pair of hiking boots which utilize graphene, and also the X-Talon range of footwear. Now, Inov-8 has unveiled its latest trail running shoe, which is designed with new Graphene-enhanced foam.

inov-8’s new Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max shoe imageinov-8’s new Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max shoe (Image credit: inov-8)

The cushioned foam, called 'G-Fly’, features as part of inov-8’s Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max shoe - a product aimed at "ultra runners".

Quantum tunneling in graphene enables highly sensitive terahertz detectors

Scientists from MIPT, Moscow Pedagogical State University and the University of Manchester have created a highly sensitive terahertz detector based on the effect of quantum-mechanical tunneling in graphene. The sensitivity of the device is said to already be superior to that of commercially available analogs based on semiconductors and superconductors, which opens up prospects for applications of the graphene detector in wireless communications, security systems, radio astronomy, and medical diagnostics.

Information transfer in wireless networks is based on transformation of a high-frequency continuous electromagnetic wave into a discrete sequence of bits. This technique is known as signal modulation. To transfer the bits faster, one has to increase the modulation frequency. However, this requires synchronous increase in carrier frequency. A common FM-radio transmits at frequencies of hundred megahertz, a Wi-Fi receiver uses signals of roughly five gigahertz frequency, while the 5G mobile networks can transmit up to 20 gigahertz signals. This is far from the limit, and further increase in carrier frequency admits a proportional increase in data transfer rates. Unfortunately, picking up signals with hundred gigahertz frequencies and higher is an increasingly challenging problem.