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 - to both electricity and heat. All this properties are exciting researchers and businesses around the world - as graphene has the potential the revolutionize entire industries - in the fields of electricity, conductivity, energy generation, batteries, sensors and more.

Mechanical strength

Graphene is the world's strongest material, and so can be used to enhance the strength of other materials. Dozens of researches have demonstrated that adding even a trade amount of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make these materials much stronger - or lighter (as you can use less amount of material to achieve the same strength).

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Such graphene-enhanced composite materials can find uses in aerospace, building materials, mobile devices, and many other applications.

Thermal applications

Graphene is the world's most conductive material to heat. As graphene is also strong and light, it means that it is a great material to make heat-spreading solutions, such as heat sinks. 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.

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Energy storage

Because graphene is the world's thinnest material, it is also the material with the highest surface-area to volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material to be used in batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene may enable devices that can store more energy - and charge faster, too. Graphene can also be used to enhance fuel-cells.

Coatings ,sensors, electronics and more

Graphene has a lot of other promising 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.

Latest graphene application news

Dotz Nano reports a successful pilot trial for its graphene-based quantum dots anti-counterfeiting system

Dotz Nano recently reported a successful industrial production pilot to mark special packages with its advanced marker named ValiDotz, to prevent counterfeiting of top brands in China.

Dotz Nano pilot trial image

The production pilot was performed together with Kecai Printing Company (a subsidiary of Brilliant Circle Holding International Limited, the industry leader in China's cigarette packaging industry), at their top-tier Shenzhen facilities, and its results were deemed as a success.

Researchers use graphene oxide and coal waste to create concrete

Washington State University researchers have attempted to find a solution to the problem of fly ash, a waste product of coal-based electricity generation and a known environmental and waste management issue. Xianming Shi, associate professor in WSU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and graduate student Gang Xu, have used graphene in their new method that makes use of fly ash for the production of concrete.

The durable new concrete eliminates the use of cement, which is known to be harmful to the environment. Instead of cement, the fly ash is used as a binder in the concrete. By doing this, Shi and Xu are able to tackle two environmental issues with one solution.

The Graphene Catalog - find your graphene material here

Researchers create efficient and low-cost graphene-enhanced lubricant

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have been working replace oil with solid lubricants such as graphene. Argonne’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program supplied the seed money needed to begin experimentation towards that end. This work may have far reaching implications both inside and outside the automobile industry. It could help wind turbines move with greater ease, allowing them to produce more energy. It also can better seal off machinery as it pumps oil or gas from the ground or out at sea.

Argonne team created graphene-enhanced lubricants imageThe graphene-encapsulated diamond ball bearings translate the nanoscale superlubricity into a macroscale phenomenon

Graphene can also be used to better protect ball bearings, which can corrode over time when exposed to water, a process commonly referred to as tribo-corrosion. The Argonne-developed process based on graphene has shown that a few layers of graphene not only reduced friction in steel rubbing against steel by seven times and the wear by 10,000 times but also significantly reduced the tribo-corrosion problem.

Promethient receives funds to ramp up its graphene-enhanced seat warming application

Promethient, an early stage U.S-based company that developed graphene-enhanced seat warmer technology, has received a large (though undisclosed) equity investment from Faurecia Ventures, the investment arm of Nanterre, France-based Faurecia, the sixth-largest auto supplier in the world, with a big American presence.

The funding will allow Promethient to ramp up product development and marketing and also provides it with a very large early customer. The investment will also allow Promethient to sell to other auto suppliers and makers.

Graphene coatings to control water evaporation

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter (Beijing), looked at the interactions of water molecules with various graphene-covered surfaces and found that graphene coatings may offer the ability to control the water evaporation process from various surfaces.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Yongfeng Huang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: "Water droplet evaporation is a ubiquitous and complicated phenomenon, and plays a pivotal role in nature and industry. Understanding its mechanism at the atomic scale, and controlling evaporation rate rationally is important for applications including heat transfer and body-temperature control. However, it remains a significant challenge". The team's experiments showed that a graphene coating controls water evaporation by suppressing the evaporation rate on hydrophilic surfaces, and accelerating evaporation on hydrophobic ones.

XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009