On Nanotech Engineering's 92% efficiency graphene-CNTs solar panel claim

In early October 2017 we posted about Nanotech Engineering's novel graphene-enhanced solar panel, a post that raised many eyebrows. Nanotech says that their graphene panel reaches a 92% efficiency (compared to around 20% for large commercial silicon-based PV panels), and the cost per Watt of their panel will be 0.55 cents (compared to a US average of $3.26 for silicon PV panels).

Rice team studies thermal properties of graphene-CNTs junctions image

Graphene-CNT junctions (source: Rice University)

Our post quoted Nanotech's PR, stating that Jeffrey Grossman, Professor of Engineering at MIT verified the technology and said that “Pound for pound, the new solar cells produce up to 1,000 times more power than conventional photovoltaics”.

Researchers develop the world's first light-driven speaker using a 3D graphene sponge

A research team from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and Sapienza University in Rome developed a new loud speaker that is driven by a light signal - and without electricity. The idea is to use modulated light that shines on a 3D graphene sponge. The audio is achieved via a highly-efficient photo-mechanism.

The researchers say that unlike conventional loudspeakers, this high-fidelity photo-speaker does not rely on vibrations to produce the sound - and it does not need any type of electrical connection or complicated system for sound generation. Using an optical pulse train, this loudspeaker allows a completely digital operation for frequencies from acoustic to ultrasound.

First Graphene demonstrates its graphene-based fire retardant material

First Graphene has provided an update on its development of the FireStop graphene-enhanced fire retardant coating in the form of a video. Development of the FireStop material is being conducted in conjunction with the University of Adelaide as part of the Company’s participation as a Tier 1 participant in the ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation.

The video shows the dramatic effectiveness of FireStop when applied to simple wooden structures. Whereas the untreated structure on the left is totally consumed by fire, the structure treated with the FireStop retardant doesn’t seem to catch fire even after five minutes of trying. Given that fires generally start at specific ignition points, the ability of a graphene-based retardant to stop the ignition is a key feature of the product.

Graphene's internal motion could provide limitless clean energy

Researchers at the University of Arkansas, led by professor Paul Thibado, have found strong evidence that the internal motion of 2D materials could be used as a source of clean, limitless energy. The team has reportedly taken the first steps toward creating a device that can turn this energy into electricity, with the potential for many applications. A patent has recently been applied on this invention, called a Vibration Energy Harvester, or VEH.

The team studied the internal movements of carbon atoms in graphene and observed two distinct features: small Brownian motion and larger, coordinated movements. In these larger movements, the entire ripple buckled, flipping up and down like a thin piece of metal being repeatedly flexed. This pattern of small random motion combined with larger sudden movements is known as Lévy flights. This phenomenon can be observed in a variety of contexts, such as biomedical signals, climate dynamics, and more. Thibado is claimed to be the first to have observed these flights spontaneously occurring in an inorganic atomic-scale system.

New graphene-based flame retardant fabric unveiled in China

The China-based Shanghai Kyorene New Material Technology recently unveiled a graphene-based flame-retardant fabric during the Textile & Yarn Expo in Shanghai.

The fabric seems to be extremely resistant to flames, and no damage appears even when it is directly touched with a burning lighter. It is also said to posses anti ultra-violet and anti-static properties. It can be used for firefighting purposes as well as furniture and other domestic uses.

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