Article last updated on: Jan 23, 2019

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.

graphene-bulb-demonstration-image



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.

The latest Graphene Application news:

Graphene interconnects to advance high-speed super-computers

In November 2018, researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara presented a paper on CMOS-compatible graphene interconnects. Following this work, a team of University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) engineering researchers recently came out with a method to utilize nanometer-scale doped multilayer graphene (DMG) interconnects well suited to the mass-production of integrated circuits.

For more than 20 years interconnects have been manufactured using copper as the base material, yet, the limitations of this metal when shrinking it to the nanoscale resistivity increase, which poses a “fundamental threat to the $500 billion semiconductor industry,” say researchers at UCSB. Graphene holds the potential to resolve this issue as a global desire for smarter, faster, lighter and affordable technology and devices continues to expand.

Graphene and other 2D materials form an enhanced heat protector for electronics

Researchers from Stanford, NIST, Theiss Research and several others have designed a new heat protector that consists of just a few layers of atomically thin materials, to protect electronics from excess heat.

Cross-section schematic of Gr/MoSe2/MoS2/WSe2 sandwich on SiO2/Si substrate imageCross-section schematic of Gr/MoSe2/MoS2/WSe2 sandwich on SiO2/Si substrate, with the incident Raman laser

The heat protector can reportedly provide the same insulation as a sheet of glass 100 times thicker. “We’re looking at the heat in electronic devices in an entirely new way,” said Eric Pop, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford and senior author of the study.

Skeleton Technologies' graphene-based supercapacitors to power Škoda trams in Mannheim

Skeleton Technologies, European developer of graphene-based supercapacitors and energy storage systems for transportation and grid applications, will supply supercapacitor systems to Škoda Electric, a traction equipment manufacturer, for 114 trams to be delivered by Škoda Transportation to Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Ludwigshafen in Germany.

The system recuperates the braking energy of the trams and uses it for re-acceleration, saving energy and decreasing costs. Supercapacitors are ideal for this application due to their high efficiency, reliability, and ability to recharge in seconds.

New graphene porous fibers may improve the sensitivity of wearable sensors

Chinese researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have developed a new type of graphene porous fibers decorated with nanoballs and high gauge factors to improve the sensitivity of wearable sensors. The team produced a structural design to reduce the contact area between the graphene and polymer to enhance sensitivity.

The team explained that wearable textile strain sensors, perceiving and responding to human stimuli, are essential parts of wearable electronics. But subtle strains detection on human bodies is still limited to low sensitivity within current sensors.

Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again! Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!