Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern. Graphene is considered to be the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material - of both electricity and heat. All of these properties are exciting researchers and businesses around the world - as graphene has the potential to revolutionize entire industries - in the fields of electricity, conductivity, energy generation, batteries, sensors and more.
Graphene is the world's strongest material, and can be used to enhance the strength of other materials. Dozens of researchers have demonstrated that adding even a trace amount of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make these materials much stronger - or lighter (as you can use a smaller amount of material to achieve the same strength).
Such graphene-enhanced composite materials can find uses in aerospace, building materials, mobile devices, and many other applications.
Graphene is the most heat conductive found to date. As graphene is also strong and light, it means that it is a great material for making heat-spreading solutions, such as heat sinks or heat dissipation films. This could be useful in both microelectronics (for example to make LED lighting more efficient and longer lasting) and also in larger applications - for example thermal foils for mobile devices. Huawei's latest smartphones, for example, have adopted graphene-based thermal films.
Since graphene is the world's thinnest material, it also extremely high surface-area to volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material for use in batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene may enable batteries and supercapacitors (and even fuel-cells) that can store more energy - and charge faster, too.
Coatings ,sensors, electronics and more
Graphene has a lot of promise for additional applications: anti-corrosion coatings and paints, efficient and precise sensors, faster and efficient electronics, flexible displays, efficient solar panels, faster DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and more.
Graphene is such a great and basic building block that it seems that any industry can benefit from this new material. Time will tell where graphene will indeed make an impact - or whether other new materials will be more suitable.
The latest Graphene Application news:
G2O Water Technologies (G2O) has announced an expansion into a new laboratory at Liverpool City Region’s Sci-Tech Daresbury following a £600,000 investment, including £320,000 of funding from NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Headquartered in Manchester, the G2O uses graphene-based coatings technology to provide high quality and cost-effective solutions to a broad range of filtration applications. G2O’s technology is used for the treatment of water waste across multiple markets, including oil, gas and industrial.
Spain-based Gnanomat recently announced the launch of its graphene-based nanocomposites.
Gnanomat stated that its manufacturing process technology offers the possibility to generate a broad range of different advanced materials for use in different industrial applications. Further nanomaterials will, in the following months, be added to supply both research and industrial customers. These products will allow the Company's clients to perform preliminary tests and open the possibility to co-develop advanced materials that meet their technical demands. Gnanomat products formulation and process have been designed for supply at industrial quantities.
Researchers at University of California Berkeley, Washington University in St. Louis and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have stacked two sheets of graphene on top of each other and twisted them, which resulted in the conversion of a common linear material into one with nonlinear optical capabilities. This could prove useful for various everyday technologies — from spectroscopy and material analysis to communications and computing.
In the study of optics, scientists distinguish between linear and nonlinear materials. Most materials, including sheets of graphene, are linear. If you shine red light at a sheet of graphene, the photons will either be absorbed or scattered, but in any case - they will remain red.
AMD recently announced its success, in conjunction with Dr. Izabela Jurewicz from the University of Surrey, in the offer of an award from UKRI’s Future Leaders Fellowship (FLF) fund. This £1.6 million award is built around the work of Dr. Jurewicz at the University of Surrey in the field of graphene (and other 2D materials) within photonic crystals, where she focuses on optical color changes in the presence of different stimulants such as gases, radiation and more. The award will push her research forward and sponsor the transition into industry.
On completion of the award contract, Dr. Jurewicz will move to a full-time position with AMD at its main site on the Surrey Research Park, whilst maintaining full access to the laboratories at Surrey. She will also provide support and oversight to the established team at the University of Sussex under Professor Alan Dalton. AMD is one of the first commercial companies to receive such an award in partnership with a leading academic.
Researchers led by Professor Tony McNally, from WMG, at the University of Warwick, in partnership with Senergy Innovations, have launched the first nanomaterial enabled all polymer solar thermal cell. This achievement was supported by funding from BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy).
The thermal properties of the polymers that were used were modified to enable heat from sunlight to be transferred with high efficiency to heat water in a low cost and sustainable way. The modular design of the cells reportedly allows for the rapid construction of a solar thermal cell array on both domestic and industry roofing.