Researchers discover a magnetic 2D material

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discovered the world's first magnetic 2D material - chromium germanium telluride (CGT). It was debatable whether magnetism could survive in such thin materials - and this discovery could pave the way to extremely thin spintronics devices.

Detecting electron spin in CGT, Berkeley

The CGT flakes were produced using the scotch-tape method - the same one used to produce graphene for the first time in Manchester in 2004.

Directa Plus announces its 2016 financial results, sees a slowdown in 2017

Directa Plus, a producer and supplier of graphene-based products for use in consumer and industrial markets, reported its financial results for 2016. Revenues increased by 89% compared to 2015 - up from €390,000 to €740,000 - as the company produced 3.1 tonnes of materials, up from 1.3 tonnes in 2015.

Loss after tax in 2016 climbed to €4.1 million from €1.7 million in 2015. Directa Plus had €10.6 million in cash and equivalents as of December 2016.

Graphene oxide combines with perovskite quantum dots to create artificial photosynthesis

Researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in China have created a composite of graphene oxide and perovskite quantum dots that can reduce CO2 when stimulated with light. It is referred to as the first known example of artificial photosynthesis based on perovskite quantum dots and GO.

Perovskites and GO make for an efficient photocatalyst image

The team prepared quantum dots – semiconductor nanoparticles – of a highly stable cesium–lead halide perovskite, as well as a composite material made of these quantum dots and graphene oxide. Both materials showed an efficient absorption of visible light and strong luminescence. The team used these products to achieve a fundamental step in artificial photosynthesis – the reduction of CO2. To simulate sunlight, they used a xenon lamp with an appropriate filter.

Graphene assists in creating lighter car parts

Researchers at The University of Alabama used graphene to fabricate a lighter car hood, as part of an attempt to reduce the weight of a Chevrolet Camaro. The new hood is made of a mixture of graphene and carbon fiber, as opposed to the original hood which is made of aluminum.

Graphene enables lighter car hood image

The hood is half the weight of the original hood, a crucial adjustment as a larger team of students work to turn the Camaro into a plug-in hybrid as part of a national contest called EcoCAR 3.

Researchers succeed in imaging how electrons move in graphene

Researchers at the University of Melbourne succeeded in imaging how electrons move in 2D graphene, an achievement which may boost the development of next-generation electronics. The new technique overcomes usual limitations of existing methods for understanding electric currents in devices based on ultra-thin materials, and so it is capable of imaging the behavior of moving electrons in structures only one atom in thickness.

Mapping electrons in graphene using diamonds image

The team used a special quantum probe based on an atomic-sized 'color center' found only in diamonds to image the flow of electric currents in graphene. The technique could be used to understand electron behavior in a variety of new technologies.

Defects in graphene membranes enable selective passage of molecules

Researchers from the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute and the Ural Federal University in Russia have discovered a way to make an extremely thin oxygen selective membrane using graphene. Such membranes allow only oxygen into Li-O2 batteries while stopping or slowing water vapor intake. This could impede corrosion caused by ambient water vapor from air and push forward the usability of much-awaited Li-O2 batteries in electric vehicles and more.

Graphene membrane defects to aid batteries image

The team has developed an in situ technique to induce pores in graphene by doping it with nitrogen during the growth process. Doping the graphene sheet with nitrogen inevitably breaks some carbon bonds in graphene, opening nanoscopic pores. The researchers observed that such pores in doped graphene selectively allow oxygen, leading to oxidation of the underlying copper foil, unlike pristine graphene.

Graphene-based "sponge" can improve Li-ion batteries

Researchers from Nec Corporation have developed a graphene-based porous material, dubbed "Magic G", that can reportedly be used in both the anode and the cathode of a lithium-ion battery, as an additive, to increase its performance.

Both the precursor and the final Magic G product were characterized through commercially available machines and methods, including field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), Raman spectroscopy (NRS-7000), gas adsorption and temperature programmed desorption–mass spectrometry (TPD-MS) (Shimadzu GC/MS- QP2010 Plus). Both the anode and cathode of the cell showed a much greater performance and charge rate after the incorporation of Magic G.

Applied Graphene Materials and Airbus to develop graphene-enhanced satellite materials

Applied Graphene Materials logoApplied Graphene Materials recently updated on the successful completion of the exploratory phase of its development program with Airbus Defense and Space. The program aims at using graphene for satellite applications.

Now, AGM states that based on the success of the initial work, both parties are collaborating on a final product development phase, with a desired target to qualify the material for flight use and first application by the end of 2017 or early 2018.

Saint Jean Carbon provides phase one results of graphene-based battery project

Saint Jean Carbon has reported the results of the first phase of its graphene battery project, announced in January, 2017. According to SJC, while primary at this point, the graphene battery has outperformed the graphite battery, as shown by a greater discharge capacity of about 30%. Both batteries were manufactured with the same material, battery “A” graphite anode and “B” graphene anode.

Saint Jean Carbon's graphene battery demo image

The company supplied performance results, among which are the graphite anode’s theoretical capacity of 372 mAh/g and the theoretical capacity of the graphene anode of 700 mAh/g. Beyond 100 cycles the discharge capacity for the graphite was 200 to 220 mAh/g and for the graphene 310 to 330 mAh/g. The testing processes included charging to 3V at 500 mA/g and discharging to 0.05V at 100 mA/g. SJC said that neither the graphene nor graphite was enhanced so the variations in the results have to be additionally tested.

Graphene joins forces with gold to enable improved neural probes

Researchers from the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology in Korea have used graphene to develop neural probes that are small, flexible and read brain signals clearly.

The probe consists of an electrode, which records the brain signal. The signal travels down an interconnection line to a connector, which transfers the signal to machines measuring and analyzing the signals. The electrode starts with a thin gold base. Attached to the base are tiny zinc oxide nanowires, which are coated in a thin layer of gold, and then a layer of conducting polymer called PEDOT. These combined materials increase the probe's effective surface area, conducting properties, and strength of the electrode, while still maintaining flexibility and compatibility with soft tissue.