New crowdfunding campaign for graphene-based battery power bank

A new graphene-based fast charging USB-C battery pack has started its crowdfunding quest on Kickstarter. At the time of writing, the campaign already raised $48,860, much more than the pledged $10,000 goal. Describing itself as the world’s first portable USB-C power bank which works using graphene-based composite packs, it is smaller than many power packs available on the market, and promises to be able to recharge in just 20 minutes.

Apollo graphene-based battery power bank on Kickstarter image

The Kickstarter page reads: "Apollo realizes application of graphene composite cell to mobile power pack for the first time in the world (Graphene composite Provided by CellsX). On the basis of the same capacity and the same charging current, the cell with graphene composite material has much smaller internal resistance and better conductivity. Therefore, the temperature rise is lower during super fast charging, so it is safer, and cell swelling and burning will never happen".

Mark your calendars - what are the graphene conferences to attend in 2018?

Conferences are a great place to learn about new development in the graphene industry and meet with fellow professionals. There are many excellent graphene events coming up in 2018 all over the world.

The following article will detail the most prominent graphene events. If you plan on attending other events (or if you are organizing an graphene event unlisted in our event directory) be sure to comment below. Some of next-year events (some important ones in the US and China) haven't been announced yet, so be sure to stay tuned for new graphene conferences.

IDTechEx Graphene & 2D Materials 2018 (April 11-12, Berlin, Germany)

IDTechEx's Graphene & 2D Materials event is an excellent way to get updated on graphene and advanced materials, especially as this event is co-located with events focused on printed electronics, 3D printing, electric vehicles, energy harvesting, energy storage, IoT, sensors and wearables.

New graphene center named after Sir Andre Geim established in Shenzhen, China

The Shenzhen Geim Graphene Research Center was established in Shenzhen, China in early December. The new center joins other prominent research centers and labs named after and led by Nobel laureates such as Robert H. Grubbs, Shuji Nakamura and Barry Marshall, all pioneers in global science, and technology trends in energy, materials, optics and medicine.

"China is one of the most active countries in the research and application of graphene, and Shenzhen is the most innovative and dynamic place in China. Here, the whole innovation environment and industry development trend make me more willing to participate," said Andre Geim, winner of 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics, which is said to shift his work focus there by personally directing research, industrialization and talent at the lab.

UCLan team tests graphene materials for aerospace applications

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are exploring the practical applications of graphene in the space industry. In a recent experiment, they launched specially-designed graphene-enhanced carbon fiber material into near space using high altitude balloons.

UCLan team tests graphene for aerospace applications image

By comparing a graphene-enhanced carbon fiber to a standard carbon fiber casing, the researchers will be able to test how both react to extreme conditions in space. They will then compare the results to determine how graphene can be utilized for aerospace applications.

New method of layering metals with the graphene may lead to new properties

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have demonstrated a new process to sheathe metal under graphene, which may lead to new and better-controlled properties.

A ''mesa'' of dysprosium, draped with a single layer of graphene.

The researchers encapsulated dysprosium, a magnetic rare-earth metal, by bombarding the top layer of bulk graphite with ions to create defects on its surface, followed by high-temperature deposition of the metal. It resulted in “mesas” or islands of dysprosium underneath a single layer of graphene. The formations are said to be significantly different than anything the Laboratory’s 2D materials experts have ever seen.

Pioneer launches graphene-enhanced sports earphones in the Chinese market

Pioneer Corporation, leader in optical disc technology and a worldwide manufacturer of audio, video and computer equipment, has launched the SEC-S801BT - a heart rate sports earphones with graphene diaphragm. These will be made available in China as a start.

Pioneer's graphene-enhanced earphones image

The Pioneer SEC-S801BT is a Bluetooth dual-mode based sports earphones that track the user's heart rate while simultaneously playing music. The graphene diaphragm is considered a superior material for earphones as it allows more accurate sound reproduction and can deliver clarity in the mid to high frequency range. Using the graphene diaphragm, the Pioneer earphones reportedly provide a wider range of frequency response, resulting in an acoustically solid listening experience for the users that achieves a deep bass while still having best-in-class middle and high frequencies.

New growth method yields wrinkle-free graphene

A team of researchers from China has designed a new growth method that produces smooth and pristine graphene. Using a carefully engineered substrate, the researchers can grow high-quality graphene free of wrinkles that often form during manufacture. The team reports that the super-smooth graphene has shown improved electrical properties over rumpled graphene grown by the usual methods.

Special substrate yields smoother graphene image

Existing methods usually use copper foil as a growth substrate to form a sheet of graphene. However, the research team hypothesized that a mismatch in material properties between between graphene and the copper growth substrate may be the cause of wrinkling that often damage the resulting graphene's properties. Graphene and the form of copper usually used as substrate expand at different rates at a given temperature, leading to mechanical strain and causing wrinkling. So, the team searched for copper substrates with a crystalline structure that’s a better match.

New method could produce industrial scale graphene-enhanced e-textiles

Scientists at The University of Manchester have reported the development of a simple and cost-effective method to manufacture graphene-based wearable electronic textiles on an industrial scale. The new method could allow graphene e-textiles to be manufactured at commercial production rates of 150 meters per minute, the team said. “Our simple and cost-effective way of producing multi-functional graphene textiles could easily be scaled up for many real-life applications, such as sportswear, military gear, and medical clothing,” said the researchers.

Manchetser develops new method for GO e-textiles image

The team reversed the previous process of coating textiles with graphene-based materials; Traditionally, the textiles are first coated with graphene oxide, which is then converted into its functional form of reduced graphene oxide. Instead, the researchers first reduced the graphene oxide in solution, and then coated the textiles with the reduced form.

New research shows that graphene is hydrophilic

Researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands have shown that graphene floating atop water actually attracts it, meaning it is hydrophilic (given that the surface of the water is clean and smooth). This contradicts a common view that graphene is in fact hydrophobic.

Graphene found to be hydrophilic instead of hydrophobic image

The way graphene is typically engineered, created on metal and placed on a solid support like a silicon wafer, likely contributed to the belief that it is water repellent, the research team said. During transfer, graphene can become damaged or contaminated, which can have an impact on its behavior, a phenomenon that inspired this newly-published research.