A £2.5 million funding for finding graphene's top potential applications

Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have announced an investment of £2.5 million for graphene feasibility studies targeting the applications of graphene with the greatest commercial potential.

Businesses can apply for a share of the investment to carry out studies into the use of graphene and other 2D carbon-based materials in specific industrial applications. The studies should evaluate the feasibility and potential use of graphene in a specific application with relevant data to support its performance.

Angstron Materials sets up new company and reveals plans to revolutionize the graphene market

Angstron Materials logoAngstron Materials has announced the establishment of a sister company called EnerG Nano, that is looking to invest around $20 million to open a production facility in Miamisburg. The company has picked a developer and a site at the Mound campus, but is still working to line up investors and incentives before making a commitment.

It seems that the plan is for Angstron to sell graphene to EnerG Nano, which would use it to make energy storage devices such as lithium-ion batteries. To boost production, Angstron is ramping up for a more than $1 million expansion that would more than double its space, according to an economic grant application. The investment would go toward purchasing a nearby 26,000-square-foot facility as well as renovations and equipment.

Graphene helps Cambridge scientists get a step closer to the "ultimate" battery

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have created a graphene-based lithium-oxygen battery that is extremely energy dense, can be recharged more than 2000 times, and is 90% more efficient than current models. Lithium-oxygen batteries as regarded as the "ultimate" batteries because their theoretical energy density is ten times higher than a lithium-ion battery.

The researchers offered potential solutions to some of the problems facing such batteries before they can be realized, by producing a lab-based demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery that is a huge improvement over previous models. The new device relies on a highly porous carbon electrode made from graphene and other chemical additives. Although not all the problems have been solved, the results are a great advancement and show routes forward towards a practical device. 

Scientists predict behaviour of charge currents in graphene

A research conducted at the University of York has shown that in  a certain type of graphene, “electron localisation” can be overcome. "Localization" refers to the sudden stop electron come to as they scatter from impurities in the crystal structure, which until now was believed to always happen in 2D materials.

The new method is said to be able to assess the impact of billions of atoms for the first time, and could help pave the way for faster, more efficient devices. Scientists say that it is a "game changer" with implications beyond physics, and could be beneficial in designing new materials, tailoring them for applications in ‘greener’ computing devices. 

NUS researchers design ultra-sensitive graphene-based magnetic sensor

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a hybrid magnetic sensor that is reportedly more sensitive than most commercially available sensors. This could encourage the development of smaller and cheaper sensors for areas like consumer electronics, information and communication technology and automotive, as well as applications like thermal switches, hard drives and magnetic field sensors.

The sensor is made of graphene and boron nitride, and includes layers of carrier-moving channels, each of which can be controlled by the magnetic field. The researchers characterized the sensor by testing it at various temperatures, angles of magnetic field, and with a different pairing material. Graphene-based magnetoresistance sensors hold immense promise over existing sensors due to their stable performance over temperature variation and eliminating the necessity for expensive wafers or temperature correction circuitry. Production cost for graphene is also much lower than silicon and indium antimonide.

Thomas Swan extends graphene product portfolio

Thomas Swan has announced the availability of two new graphene grades: Elicarb Electrical Grade Graphene Powder for conductive inks and Elicarb Materials Grade Graphene Powder for composites & plastics. In combination with the company's existing products of Elicarb Premium Grade Graphene Powder and Elicarb Premium Grade Graphene Dispersion (AQ) which are meant for electronics & displays applications, the company now provides a full suite of graphene products.

Thomas Swan states that it continues to focus on reliably delivering high quality, consistent graphene products via the Direct Exfoliation process which extracts graphene directly from graphite raw materials. By tuning its extraction process, the company can produce graphene products that range from the Few Layer Graphene through to the Multi-Layer graphene nanoplatelet. 

Updates on Vittoria's graphene-enhanced products

International tire manufacturer Vittoria added graphene to the rims of the Qurano series last year, and now Vittoria has further embraced graphene technology by incorporating it into its latest range of 2016 tires, referred to as the “Intelligent Tire System” (ITS).

Like before, Vittoria has worked with Directa Plus, an Italian manufacturer of graphene, to develop its line of new tires, which the company defines as “an innovative leader in the cycling world”. Vittoria’s compound expertise and knowledge of tire construction contributes strongly to the quality and performance of the tires, but the company states that graphene is responsible for slowing down wear significantly and gives the products an edge that allows it to reach a whole new level. The combination of graphene and rubber can be made very stiff and rigid when it’s not forced to work (roll fast when going straight at a steady pace), whereas the flexibility allows the rubber to enhance the grip while the biker corners/accelerates/breaks. Vittoria states that graphene affords their tires with more grip in the wet, more puncture resistance, better durability and lower rolling resistance, as much as 19% in the Corsa, and up to 40% in the Corsa Speed, a tire designed to allow maximum speed.

Cobalt and rGO combine to create a promising anode for lithium-ion batteries

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research presents a promising anode material for lithium-ion batteries, by incorporating unique 3D cobalt oxide microstructures into a reduced graphene oxide composite.

Metal oxides present a potential alternative to conventional graphite anodes and Li alloys. Cobalt oxide (CoO) has particularly promising properties, namely a high specific capacity and excellent cycling stability against lithium. However, particle aggregation and volume expansion have thus far restricted its candidacy as an appropriate anode material. Merging CoO into a graphene hydrogel, which acts as a mechanically stable 3D support, the researchers eliminate the problem of volume expansion. Furthermore, the completely interconnected hybrid material presents improved conductivity.

Haydale's GNPs used in functional graphene ink

Haydale recently announced that its proprietary HDPlas technology has been used to create functionalized Graphene Nanoplatelets (GNPs) that have been incorporated into a functional graphene ink, which has been developed for screen printing. The ink has been created with area printing applications in mind.

A recent report details how a screen-printable functional graphene based ink, supplied by Goodfellow, performs better than many normal carbon-based ink, opening the door to innovative applications that require enhanced electrical conductivity, excellent adhesion on a range of substrates and high print resolution. Such applications are found in sensors, displays, printed electronics and electrodes.