Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register
Graphene Updates
Blog Home All Blogs
The latest news and information on all aspects of graphene research, development, application and commercialization.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: Graphene  2D materials  Batteries  Sensors  Li-ion batteries  University of Manchester  CVD  Electronics  First Graphene  graphene production  nanomaterials  graphene oxide  The Graphene Flagship  coatings  graphite  Applied Graphene Materials  Energy Storage  Haydale  Carbon Nanotubes  composites  Andre Geim  Battery  biosensors  Gratomic  Hexagonal boron nitride  optoelectronics  Standards  Versarien  3D Printing  Adrian Potts 

Are Graphene Companies Missing Out on R&D Tax Credits?

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Friday, August 16, 2019

Technology-based start-up companies typically have teams that know a great deal about the underlying technology and may have fully educated themselves on the commercial markets that they’re targeting for their products. However, knowing the intricacies of different funding mechanisms, or the finer points of corporate tax law, typically are not their strengths.

For the past 22 years, Leyton has been offering an international portfolio of clients a way to maximize the government funding initiatives that are available to them that they may not even be aware of.

Recently, Leyton became a Corporate Member of The Graphene Council and this gave us the opportunity to ask them about their business and what they can do for companies that are trying to succeed in commercializing graphene. Here is our interview with David Marinofsky – Senior R&D Tax Consultant at Leyton.

Q: Can you explain a bit of how your company works and what you provide your clients?

A: Leyton is a global innovation funding consultancy dedicated to helping our clients improve their business performance through utilization of research and development (R&D) tax credits. Our in-house  team  of  highly  experienced  scientists,  engineers,  tax  consultants  and  attorneys produce innovative and sustainable strategies to achieve the maximum eligible financial return, without impacting on a company’s core business or security. We save our clients’ time and generate a tax benefit while maintaining the highest quality of service. We achieve this by adapting to our clients’ environment and time constraints, and by minimizing their involvement, so they can stay focused on their core functions. Leyton only charges a fee if a credit is identified. We follow a clear methodology built on tested know-how and in full compliance with current legislation.

 Q: Essentially, then, your company assists innovative companies in reclaiming R&D tax credits. Could you outline the countries and regions that offer R&D tax credits for companies in the graphene sector?

A: R&D tax credits are offered globally, and can be applicable to various industries, including Material Science, Aerospace, Energy, Electronics, Medical Applications, Automotive, Construction, and many more. Companies developing the graphene material itself, new graphene-based processes or graphene-based products, will all be eligible, irrespective of what industry they operate in. Thanks to Leyton’s 25 regional offices in 11 countries, we are able to work closely with our clients, while our international presence gives us a strong global footprint, diverse sector expertise and the ability to benefit our clients on a global scale.

Q: How can companies take advantage of these tax strategies? What is required to qualify?

A: Regardless of industry, size, or revenue, any business that performs activities that meet the following four-part test may qualify for R&D tax credits:

1)    Technical Uncertainty: An activity performed to eliminate technical uncertainty encountered in the development or improvement of a product or process, which includes techniques, formulations, and inventions.

2)    Process of Experimentation: Activities undertaken to eliminate technical uncertainty where one or more alternatives are evaluated and is typically performed through modeling, simulation, systematic trial and error, or other methods.

3)    Technological in Nature: The process of experimentation fundamentally relies upon the hard sciences, such as chemistry, engineering, physics, biology, or computer science.

4)    Qualified Purpose: The research and development is performed with the purpose of creating new or improved product(s) or process(es) (computer software included) that results in increased performance, function, reliability, or quality.

 Q: Do you have an estimate of how much tax credits can a company might recoup based on their revenues or size?

A: A company’s size or revenue are not main determinants of the credit. Typically the best indicators are the amount of technical salaries and research and development related consumables that are incurred by a company during any given fiscal year. The bigger the pot of qualifying expenditures, the larger the credit will typically be. At the Federal level it is typically around 10% of the qualifying expenditure identified per year, but it is not always a simple 10% calculation due to the incremental nature of the credit. This credit can be used to reduce your current year tax bill, creates a refund if you are submitting on an amended return or can be carried forward for up to 20 years.

 A further determining factor can be in what state the company is located. Many states offer their own R&D credit with the qualifying criteria typically matching that of the Federal credit. As each state has control of their credit, the rates of return will vary but can be at the same level as the federal credit. The great thing is, the state and federal credits are separate, so you can claim them both together!

 A further thing to take note of is that there is an alternative way to realize the credit for qualified small businesses. As early stage companies who were highly innovative but incurring losses could not benefit from the standard credit, the payroll credit was brought into effect. The qualifying activities and expenditures remain the same, as does the amount of credit you receive. However, instead of reducing your income tax liability, which you don’t have, you are able to reduce (and potentially eliminate) your quarterly payroll tax bill. The great thing is, these companies nearly always have employees and a payroll tax bill!

 Q: Do you have an example of how some innovation companies have benefited from your services?

Companies have benefited directly by having the ability to put additional funds back into their business allowing them to hire additional staff, purchase new equipment, or securing a valuable tax credit to reduce their future tax bill. Our experience has shown that this is a perfect benefit for companies no matter what their current stage of growth. Any way to create additional funding is vital for businesses and we understand that, we also understand that your business should be your focus. That is why at Leyton we constantly monitor market developments to provide the most up-to-date funding solutions for our clients, delivered as efficiently as possible.

If anyone has any further questions about our services, our contact details and social media links are covered below:

  Website: www.leyton.com

Email: dmarinofsky@leyton.com

Phone: +1 (347) 417 – 0970.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leytonusa/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeytonUSA

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/leyton-usa/

DISCLAIMER: The Graphene Council does not have ANY financial interest in, and does NOT receive any commissions, participation or any other remuneration connected to Leyton client engagements. Please contact Leyton directly for information on how to obtain R&D Tax Credits. 

Tags:  funding  investment  start-ups  tax credits 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Using 3-D Printed Mother-of-Pearl to Create Tough New Smart Materials

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, August 12, 2019

The silvery shine of mother-of-pearl has long been prized for jewelry and decorative arts. But the interior of mollusk shells, also known as nacre, is more than just a pretty face. It is actually one of the most robust materials in the natural world. You can drive over nacre with a truck, and while the mollusk shell might crack under the weight, the shiny interior will stay intact.



Professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Yong Chen and his team have created a new 3-D-printed replica of this natural super-material, which will have important new applications in responsive smart materials and safety devices, such as helmets and armor for sports or military, as well as smart wearable technology, biomedical devices and more.

The work, which was recently published in Science Advances, also represents the first time that electrical fields were used in 3-D printing to form the material, meaning the finished product has strong electrical conductivity. This makes it ideal for smart products.

Chen and postdoctoral researcher Yang Yang worked on the paper with co-authors Qiming Wang, Assistant Professor in the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Qifa Zhou, Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering and others.

Chen said that in nature, the main purpose of a material like nacre is to protect a delicate, soft-bodied creature inside the shell.

“Nacre is strong because it stacks microscale and nanoscale components together in a brick-like structure and uses soft material to bind them together.”

Chen said the result was a very lightweight, robust material that was also far more responsive to pressure and loading compared with more rigid materials like ceramic and glass.

“Even very strong glass can be easy to crack when you drop it. Microcracks on the surface of these materials can quickly propagate all the way through it, whereas nacre combines soft and hard material in an intelligent way,” Chen said.

He said that when microcracks form in nacre, the soft material binding the nacre together works to deflect the force of impact and prevent cracks from propagating into more serious damage.

“The main motivation for this research was to see whether we could 3-D print any shape at a microscale, using the architecture of nacre combining both hard and soft materials, to achieve a much tougher structure.”

Replicating nacre with graphene and polymer
To do this, the team used a novel method to build synthetic nacre at a microscale using graphene powder as a building block. The researchers ran an electrical charge of around 1,000 volts through the graphene.

“Originally we had this randomly distributed graphene,” Chen said. “When you add it to the electrical field, these random grains of graphene are aligned parallel to each other.”

“Then we cure the material and finalize the layer. We then stack layer after layer on top so that it is similar in microstructure to nacre,” Chen said.

“We create a composite with polymer, which serves as the soft material inside and between the graphene.”

Chen said that previously nacre-like materials were formed using different approaches, such as magnetic fields to align the particles. After fabrication, the research team conducted material testing that showed the electrically-aligned product was lightweight with strong engineering properties.

He said that while naturally-formed nacre doesn’t conduct electricity, the 3-D printed bioinspired version can. As such, if it were used to fabricate protective material such as helmets or armor, the synthetic nacre can act as a sensor that alerts the wearer of any structural weaknesses before it fails.

The team tested the material by creating a small scale model of a smart helmet. The helmet functioned as a sensor connected to a LED light. When enough pressure was put on the helmet, the LED would be activated, indicating the material was under stress.

“Using the electrical-aligned approach leads to better alignment of the particles. It also means we can work with particles that react to an electrical field. When you use a magnetic field, then you can only work with a particle that reacts to that.”

Chen said that for the next stage of the research, the team would be investigating the new material’s capacity for thermal conductivity, in addition to its mechanical strength and ability to conduct electricity.

Tags:  3D Printing  Graphene  polymers  Qifa Zhou  USC Viterbi School of Engineering  Yong Chen 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

3D printable 2D materials based inks show promise to improve energy storage devices

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Sunday, August 11, 2019
Updated: Sunday, August 4, 2019
For the first time, a team of researchers, from the School of Materials and the National Graphene Institute at The the University of Manchester have formulated inks using the 2D material MXene, to produce 3D printed interdigitated electrodes.

As published in Advanced Materials, these inks have been used to 3D print electrodes that can be used in energy storages devices such as supercapacitors.

MXene, a ‘clay-like’ two-dimensional material composed of early transition metals (such as titanium) and carbon atoms, was first developed by Drexel University. However, unlike most clays, MXene shows high electrical conductivity upon drying and is hydrophilic, allowing them to be easily dispersed in aqueous suspensions and inks.

Graphene was the world’s first two-dimensional material, more conductive than copper, many more times stronger than steel, flexible, transparent and one million times thinner than the diameter of a human hair.

Since its isolation, graphene has opened the doors for the exploration of other two-dimensional materials, each with a range of different properties. However, in order to make use of these unique properties, 2D materials need to be efficiently integrated into devices and structures. The manufacturing approach and materials formulations are essential to realise this.

Dr Suelen Barg who led the team said: “We demonstrate that large MXene flakes spanning a few atoms thick, and water can be independently used to formulate inks with very specific viscoelastic behaviour for printing. These inks can be directly 3D printed into freestanding architectures over 20 layers tall. Due to the excellent electrical conductivity of MXene, we can employ our inks to directly 3D print current collector-free supercapacitors. The unique rheological properties combined with the sustainability of the approach open many opportunities to explore, especially in energy storage and applications requiring the functional properties of 2D MXene in customized 3D architectures.”

Wenji and Jae, PhD students at the Nano3D Lab at the University, said: “Additive manufacturing offers one possible method of building customised, multi-materials energy devices, demonstrating the capability to capture MXene’s potential for usage in energy applications. We hope this research will open avenues to fully unlock the potential of MXene for use in this field.”

The unique rheological properties combined with the sustainability of the approach open many opportunities to explore, especially in energy storage and applications requiring the functional properties of 2D MXene in customized 3D architectures. Dr Suelen Barg, School of Materials

The performance and application of these devices increasingly rely on the development and scalable manufacturing of innovative materials in order to enhance their performance.

Supercapacitors are devices that are able to produce massive amounts of power while using much less energy than conventional devices. There has been much work carried out on the use of 2D materials in these types of devices due to their excellent conductivity as well as having the potential to reduce the weight of the device.

Potential uses for these devices are for the automotive industry, such as in electric cars as well as for mobile phones and other electronics.

Tags:  2D materials  3D Printing  Drexel University  Graphene  Suelen Barg  Supercapacito  University of Manchester 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A novel graphene-matrix-assisted stabilization method will help unique 2D materials become a part of quantum computers

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Sunday, August 11, 2019
Updated: Monday, August 5, 2019
The family of 2D materials was recently joined by a new class, the monolayers of oxides and carbides of transition metals, which have been the subject of extensive theoretical and experimental research. These new materials are of great interest to scientists due to their unusual rectangular atomic structure and chemical and physical properties. 

Scientists are particularly interested in a unique 2D rectangular copper oxide cell, which does not exist in crystalline (3D) form, as opposed to most 2D materials, whether well known or discovered recently, which have a lattice similar to that of their crystalline (3D) counterparts. The main hindrance for practical use of monolayers is their low stability.

A group of scientists from MISiS, the Institute of Biochemical Physics of RAS (IBCP), Skoltech, and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan (NIMS) discovered 2D copper oxide materials with an unusual crystal structure inside a two-layer graphene matrix using experimental methods.

“Finding that a rectangular-lattice copper-oxide monolayer can be stable under given conditions is as important as showing how the binding of copper oxide and a graphene nanopore and formation of a common boundary can lead to the creation of a small, stable 2D copper oxide cluster with a rectangular lattice. In contrast to the monolayer, the small copper oxide cluster’s stability is driven to a large extent by the edge effects (boundaries) that lead to its distortion and, subsequently, destruction of the flat 2D structure. Moreover, we demonstrated that binding bilayered graphene with pure copper, which never exists in the form of a flat cluster, makes the 2D metal layer more stable,” says Skoltech Senior Research Scientist Alexander Kvashnin.

The preferability of the copper oxide rectangular lattice forming in a bigraphene nanopore was confirmed by the calculations performed using the USPEX evolutionary algorithm developed by Professor at Skoltech and MIPT, Artem Oganov. The studies of the physical properties of the stable 2D materials indicate that they are good candidates for spintronics applications.

Tags:  2D materials  Alexander Kvashnin  Artem Oganov  Graphene  MIPT  Skoltech 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

New research highlights similarities in the insulating states of twisted bilayer graphene and cuprates

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Sunday, August 11, 2019
Updated: Monday, August 5, 2019
In recent decades, enormous research efforts have been expended on the exploration and explanation of high-temperature (high-Tc) superconductors, a class of materials exhibiting zero resistance at particularly high temperatures.

Now a team of scientists from the United States, Germany and Japan explain in Nature ("Maximized electron interactions at the magic angle in twisted bilayer graphene") how the electronic structure in twisted bilayer graphene influences the emergence of the insulating state in these systems, which is the precursor to superconductivity in high-Tc materials.

Finding a material which superconducts at room temperature would lead to a technological revolution, alleviate the energy crisis (as nowadays most energy is lost on the way from generation to usage) and boost computing performance to an entirely new level. However, despite the progress made in understanding these systems, a full theoretical description is still elusive, leaving our search for room temperature superconductivity mainly serendipitous.

In a major scientific breakthrough in 2018, twisted bilayer graphene (TBLG) was shown to exhibit phases of matter akin to those of a certain class of high-Tc superconducting materials – the so-called high-Tc cuprates. This represents a novel inroad via a much cleaner and more controllable experimental setup.

The scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD), Freie Universität Berlin (both in Germany), Columbia University (USA) and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan focused on the insulating state of TBLG.

This material is made up of two atomically thin layers of graphene, stacked at a very slight angle to each other. In this structure, the insulating state precedes the high- Tc superconducting phase. Hence, a better understanding of this phase and what leads up to it is crucial for the control of TBLG.

The scientists used scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM / STS) to investigate the samples. With this microscopic technique, electrically conducting surfaces can be examined atom by atom. Using the pioneering “tear and stack” method, they placed two atomically thin layers of graphene on top of one another and rotated them slightly. Then, the team directly mapped the material’s atomic-scale structural and electronic properties near the ‘magic angle’ of around 1.1°.

The findings, which have just been published in Nature, cast new light on the factors influencing the emergence of superconductivity in TBLG. The team observed that the insulating state, which precedes the superconducting state, appears at a particular level of filling the system with electrons. It enables scientists to estimate the strength and the nature of the interactions between electrons in these systems - a crucial step towards their description.

In particular, the results show that two distinct van Hove singularities (vHs) in the local density of states appear close to the magic angle which have a doping dependent separation of 40-57 meV. This demonstrates clearly for the first time that the vHs separation is significantly larger than previously thought. Furthermore, the team clearly demonstrates that the vHs splits into two peaks when the system is doped near half Moiréband filling. This doping-dependent splitting is explained by a correlation-induced gap, which means that in TBLG, electron-induced interaction plays a prominent role.

The team found that the ratio of the Coulomb interaction to the bandwidth of each individual vHs is more crucial to the magic angle than the vHs seperation. This suggests that the neighboring superconducting state is driven by a Cooper-like pairing mechanism based on electron-electron interactions. In addition, the STS results indicate some level of electronic nematicity (spontaneous breaking of the rotational symmetry of the underlying lattice), much like what is observed in cuprates near the superconducting state.

With this research, the team has taken a crucial step towards demonstrating the equivalence of the physics of high-Tc cuprates and those of TBLG materials. The insights gained via TBLG in this study will thus further the understanding of high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates and lead to a better analysis of the detailed workings of these fascinating systems.

The team’s work on the nature of the superconducting and insulating states seen in transport will allow researchers to benchmark theories and hopefully ultimately understand TBLG as a stepping stone towards a more complete description of the high-Tc cuprates. In the future, this may pave the way towards a more systematic approach of increasing superconducting temperatures in these and similar systems.

Tags:  Columbia University  Freie Universität Berlin  Graphene  Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamic 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

XG Sciences and Niagara Bottling Partner to Drive Graphene Enhanced PET Innovations in The Food & Beverage Packaging Industry

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Thursday, August 8, 2019

XG Sciences, Inc. (XGS), a market leader in designing advanced materials using xGnP® graphene nanoplatelets, announced that it has entered into an Intellectual Property License, Joint Development and Commercialization Agreement with Niagara Bottling, LLC, a market leader in  beverage packaging innovation and one of the largest beverage companies in the U.S. 

 

The Agreement provides XG Sciences with an exclusive license to Niagara’s patents and proprietary know-how related to the use of graphene nanoplatelets in PET in certain bottle applications. Under the Agreement, Niagara will assist XGS with field engineering support to install products into the manufacturing lines for new customers – greatly reducing the manufacturer’s time to market. This Agreement gives XGS access to a considerable IP portfolio relating to optimized dispersions of graphene nanoplatelets in PET and allows XGS to sell XGPET™ masterbatch pellets to global packaging companies within the next 6 to 12 months.  

 

The partnership will bring numerous advancements to the beverage bottle and packaging industry. When used in packaging production the advanced material, sold under the brand XGPET™, demonstrates improved physical strength, advanced product designs, processing benefits as well as potential reductions in the use of PET for given bottle designs.

 

“We are excited about the opportunities that partnering with an industry leader like Niagara Bottling will bring to the packaging industry. XGPET becomes the next innovative graphene enhanced material within our portfolio of high-performance composites, intended to solve major industry challenges, enable new products designs and accelerate a push towards more sustainable products,” said Bamidele Ali, Chief Commercial Officer, XG Sciences.

 

“For years we have used our expertise to innovate for Niagara Bottling’s customers. In this partnership with XG Sciences we are now advancing those innovations to the broader packaging industry,” said Jay Hanan, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Niagara Bottling. “We are excited to further enable our industry to utilize graphene to create more efficiently produced and user-friendly packaging.”

 

Visit www.xgsciences.com/xgpet for details on the technical advantages of XGPET.

 

About XG Sciences, Inc.

XG Sciences, formed in 2006, specializes in utilizing graphene nanoplatelets to formulate advanced materials that amplify the performance of products across numerous industries. High-performance materials have been shipped to over 1,000 organizations in 47 countries. Test results have shown enhancements in manufacturing processability and improvements in mechanical, thermal, electrical, and barrier properties for many base materials.

 

For more information please visit www.xgsciences.com.

 

About Niagara Bottling, LLC

Family owned since 1963, Niagara Bottling is a leading beverage supplier in the U.S. producing a variety of beverages including bottled water, teas, sports drinks, vitamin water and sparkling water. Headquartered in Ontario, CA, Niagara operates bottling facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico and works closely with some of the largest retailer stores throughout the country. With over 55 years of experience in advanced bottling technology, Niagara is committed to driving product innovation and environmental sustainability efforts in PET manufacturing.

 

For more information, visit www.niagarawater.com

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Graphene IP Portfolio Made Available

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Updated: Thursday, August 1, 2019


Seattle, WA-based Allied Inventors (AI) is a $600M fund that has invested in early-stage technologies to help address industrial challenges. AI manages over 5,000 intellectual property assets in technology areas such as graphene, medical platforms, energy storage, and semiconductors. 

Now AI is looking to monetize its graphene IP portfolio consisting of 87 patents and pending applications through licenses or sale of the patent package. Over 91% of the patent portfolio has been granted in multiple jurisdictions including the US, China, Germany Japan, and India.

AI curated their technology portfolio by partnering with a large network of inventors from well-known universities, research institutions, and companies. In developing its graphene IP portfolio, AI sourced novel technologies relevant to producing quality large scale graphene, detecting graphene defects, and using graphene for a variety of applications.  The resulting IP portfolio consists of patents related to graphene manufacture and graphene applications like batteries, filtration, and nanoparticle composites. 

In one manufacturing process patent (US Patent 8,828,193 and 14/459,860), this technology is an electromagnetic radiation process that can operate at low temperatures and offers a way to rapidly produce graphene from graphite oxide on an industrial scale. Another patent (US Patent 15/313,855) involves the process of and system for converting carbon dioxide into graphene by focusing light beam on it.

In addition to graphene manufacturing patents, the portfolio includes technologies for making graphene-based materials. One of the patents (US Patent 9,944,774) is a simple and cost-effective process for forming graphene wrapped carbon nanotube based polymer composites. These composites can be used for strain sensing applications such as structural health monitoring.

Another patent (US Patent 9,499,410) describes a method for making metal oxide-graphene composites. The technology is based on a solvo-thermal process that can synthesize a variety of metal oxide-graphene composites. It is a simple one-step method for use in applications such as batteries and capacitors. 

“Our carefully-curated graphene portfolio has a wide range of important technologies for the manufacture and application of high quality graphene. This portfolio would be beneficial to companies in the graphene space that are interested in enhancing the value of their technology portfolio,” said Norman Ong, Business Analyst for AI. “While the preference is to monetize the entire IP portfolio, we would be open to exploring different options.” 

Ong invites any organization that is interested in the graphene IP portfolio to visit their website and to contact them directly at info@alliedinventors.com.

 

***

 

DISCLOSURE: The Graphene Council has NO INTEREST in the referenced patents and has no financial gain from the sale or license of any of the above referenced patents. This article is provided for informational purposes only and you are requested to contact the patent owners directly. 

Tags:  batteries  graphene production  Investment  sensors 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Argonne-led center receives award for pivotal discovery in battery technology

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, August 5, 2019
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs). The DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences launched forty-six such centers in 2009 to bring together teams of scientists to perform basic research beyond what is possible for individuals or small groups. To celebrate the ten-year milestone, DOE selected ten awardees to recognize their having made a major impact on scientific ideas, technologies and tools, and people. Hence, the award name is "Ten at Ten."

"This award is the consequence of the long-range vision, established at the very start of CEES in 2009, that a robust fundamental understanding of the electrode processes in lithium-ion batteries would have broad benefits." -- Paul Fenter, CEES director

One of the Ten at Ten Awards has gone to three researchers in the Center for Electrochemical Energy Science (CEES), a multi-organizational EFRC led by Argonne National Laboratory in partnership with Northwestern University, University of Illinois and Purdue University. The CEES mission is to explore the fundamental chemistry and materials underlying batteries and energy storage by means of state-of-the-art materials synthesis and characterization.

"This award is the consequence of the long-range vision, established at the very start of CEES in 2009, that a robust fundamental understanding of the electrode processes in lithium-ion batteries would have broad benefits," said Paul Fenter, CEES director and senior physicist in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering division. Such batteries could power electric vehicles and drones as well as provide energy storage for the grid.

The Ten at Ten Award recipients are two former CEES members, Harold Kung and Cary Hayner, and a current CEES member, Mark Hersam. Both Kung and Hersam are professors at Northwestern University, and Hayner is chief technical officer and co-founder of NanoGraf Corp. (formerly SiNode Systems).

"The interdisciplinary collaborative environment within CEES provides a breeding ground not only for fundamental discoveries but also for disruptive thinking that spawns new technologies," said Hersam.  "The EFRC program is a poignant example of how government investment in research ultimately fuels the innovation that underlies economic growth."

The Ten at Ten Award recognizes two new electrode technologies for next-generation lithium-ion batteries that were developed based on research that was initiated in CEES. Both technologies use "graphene," carbon layers just one atom thick, to coat the active materials within the battery electrode to create a "composite" electrode structure.  The first advance by Hayner and Kung used graphene in the battery anode, encapsulating particles of silicon. The second advance by Hersam incorporated graphene in the cathode, to encapsulate manganese-based oxides.

The resulting electrodes consist of graphene-coated active materials that have substantially improved properties, such as increased battery power, lifetime, and safety, as well as diminished likelihood of safety problems such as a violent reaction.

Another important feature of these technologies is that they enable lithium-ion batteries to function at temperatures well below the freezing point -- a capability critical for electric car owners in cold regions.

"CEES is especially proud that the award-winning research has given birth to two startups," noted Fenter. A startup company co-founded by Kung and Hayner in 2012 (NanoGraf) is commercializing the graphene-based silicon anode, while a startup company co-founded by Hersam in 2018 (Volexion) is bringing the graphene-based cathode to market.

"We owe our entire existence as a company to the research and people who are part of CEES," said NanoGraf co-founder Hayner. "The transformative discoveries made by CEES scientists has enabled us to further develop these technologies and bring them to the market to drive a cleaner, more sustainable future."

The award presentation took place on July 29 in Washington, DC. The Center for Electrochemical Energy Science is an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences.

Tags:  Cary Hayner  CEES  Graphene  Harold Kung  Mark Hersam  NanoGraf  Paul Fenter 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Synthesizing single-crystalline hexagonal graphene quantum dots

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, August 5, 2019
A KAIST team has designed a novel strategy for synthesizing single-crystalline graphene quantum dots, which emit stable blue light. The research team confirmed that a display made of their synthesized graphene quantum dots successfully emitted blue light with stable electric pressure, reportedly resolving the long-standing challenges of blue light emission in manufactured displays. The study, led by Professor O Ok Park in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Graphene has gained increased attention as a next-generation material for its heat and electrical conductivity as well as its transparency. However, single and multi-layered graphene have characteristics of a conductor so that it is difficult to apply into semiconductor. Only when downsized to the nanoscale, semiconductor's distinct feature of bandgap will be exhibited to emit the light in the graphene. This illuminating featuring of dot is referred to as a graphene quantum dot.

Conventionally, single-crystalline graphene has been fabricated by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on copper or nickel thin films, or by peeling graphite physically and chemically. However, graphene made via chemical vapor deposition is mainly used for large-surface transparent electrodes. Meanwhile, graphene made by chemical and physical peeling carries uneven size defects.

The research team explained that their graphene quantum dots exhibited a very stable single-phase reaction when they mixed amine and acetic acid with an aqueous solution of glucose. Then, they synthesized single-crystalline graphene quantum dots from the self-assembly of the reaction intermediate. In the course of fabrication, the team developed a new separation method at a low-temperature precipitation, which led to successfully creating a homogeneous nucleation of graphene quantum dots via a single-phase reaction.

Professor Park and his colleagues have developed solution phase synthesis technology that allows for the creation of the desired crystal size for single nanocrystals down to 100 nano meters. It is reportedly the first synthesis of the homogeneous nucleation of graphene through a single-phase reaction.

Professor Park said, "This solution method will significantly contribute to the grafting of graphene in various fields. The application of this new graphene will expand the scope of its applications such as for flexible displays and varistors."

This research was a joint project with a team from Korea University under Professor Sang Hyuk Im from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, the Nano-Material Technology Development Program from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), KAIST EEWS, and the BK21+ project from the Korean government.

Tags:  CVD  Graphene  KAIST  O Ok Park  quantum dots  Sang Hyuk Im 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

New quantum phenomena helps to understand fundamental limits of graphene electronics

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2019
A team of researchers from the Universities of Manchester, Nottingham and Loughborough have discovered quantum phenomena that helps to understand the fundamental limits of graphene electronics. As published in Nature Communications, the work describes how electrons in a single atomically-thin sheet of graphene scatter off the vibrating carbon atoms which make up the hexagonal crystal lattice.

By applying a magnetic field perpendicular to the plane of graphene, the current-carrying electrons are forced to move in closed circular “cyclotron” orbits. In pure graphene, the only way in which an electron can escape from this orbit is by bouncing off a “phonon” in a scattering event. These phonons are particle-like bundles of energy and momentum and are the “quanta” of the sound waves associated with the vibrating carbon atom. The phonons are generated in increasing numbers when the graphene crystal is warmed up from very low temperatures.

By passing a small electrical current through the graphene sheet, the team were able to measure precisely the amount of energy and momentum that is transferred between an electron and a phonon during a scattering event.

Their experiment revealed that two types of phonon scatter the electrons: transverse acoustic (TA) phonons in which the carbon atoms vibrate perpendicular to the direction of phonon propagation and wave motion (somewhat analogous to surface waves on water) and longitudinal acoustic (LA) phonons in which the carbon atoms vibrate back and forth along the direction of the phonon and the wave motion; (this motion is somewhat analogous to the motion of sound waves through air).

The measurements provide a very accurate measure of the speed of both types of phonons, a measurement which is otherwise difficult to make for the case of a single atomic layer. An important outcome of the experiments is the discovery that TA phonon scattering dominates over LA phonon scattering.

We were pleasantly surprised to find such prominent magnetophonon oscillations appearing in graphene. We were also puzzled why people had not seen them before, considering the extensive amount of literature on quantum transport in graphene. Laurence Eaves and Roshan Krishna Kumar, The University of Manchester

The observed phenomena, commonly referred to as “magnetophonon oscillations”, was measured in many semiconductors years before the discovery of graphene. It is one of the oldest quantum transport phenomena that has been known for more than fifty years, predating the quantum Hall effect. Whereas graphene possesses a number of novel, exotic electronic properties, this rather fundamental phenomenon has remained hidden.

Laurence Eaves & Roshan Krishna Kumar, co-authors of the work said: “We were pleasantly surprised to find such prominent magnetophonon oscillations appearing in graphene. We were also puzzled why people had not seen them before, considering the extensive amount of literature on quantum transport in graphene.”

Their appearance requires two key ingredients. First, the team had to fabricate high quality graphene transistors with large areas at the National Graphene Institute. If the device dimensions are smaller than a few micrometres the phenomena could not be observed.

Piranavan Kumaravadivel from The University of Manchester, lead author of the paper said: “At the beginning of quantum transport experiments, people used to study macroscopic, millimetre sized crystals. In most of the work on quantum transport on graphene, the studied devices are typically only a few micrometres in size. It seems that making larger graphene devices is not only important for applications but now also for fundamental studies.”

The second ingredient is temperature. Most graphene quantum transport experiments are performed at ultra-cold temperatures in-order to slow down the vibrating carbon atoms and “freeze-out” the phonons that usually break quantum coherence. Therefore, the graphene is warmed up as the phonons need to be active to cause the effect.

Mark Greenaway, from Loughborough University, who worked on the quantum theory of this effect said: “This result is extremely exciting - it opens a new route to probe the properties of phonons in two-dimensional crystals and their heterostructures. This will allow us to better understand electron-phonon interactions in these promising materials, understanding which is vital to develop them for use in new devices and applications.”

Tags:  2D materials  Graphene  Laurence Eaves  Loughborough University  Mark Greenaway  Piranavan Kumaravadivel  Roshan Krishna Kumar  University of Manchester  University of Nottingham 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Graphene in Electronic Circuits

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Ever since graphene was discovered in 2004, researchers around the world have been working to develop commercially scalable applications for this high-performance material.

Graphene is 100 to 300 times stronger than steel at the atomic level and has a maximum electrical current density orders of magnitude greater than that of copper, making it the strongest, thinnest and, by far, the most reliable electrically conductive material on the planet. It is, therefore, an extremely promising material for interconnects, the fundamental components that connect billions of transistors on microchips in computers and other electronic devices in the modern world.

For over two decades, interconnects have been made of copper, but that metal encounters fundamental physical limitations as electrical components that incorporate it shrink to the nanoscale. “As you reduce the dimensions of copper wires, their resistivity shoots up,” said Kaustav Banerjee, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Resistivity is a material property that is not supposed to change, but at the nanoscale, all properties change.”

As the resistivity increases, copper wires generate more heat, reducing their current-carrying capacity. It’s a problem that poses a fundamental threat to the $500 billion semiconductor industry. Graphene has the potential to solve that and other issues. One major obstacle, though, is designing graphene micro-components that can be manufactured on-chip, on a large scale, in a commercial foundry.

“Whatever the component, be it inductors, interconnects, antennas or anything else you want to do with graphene, industry will move forward with it only if you find a way to synthesize graphene directly onto silicon wafers,” Banerjee said. He explained that all manufacturing processes related to the transistors, which are made first, are referred to as the ‘front end.’ To synthesize something at the back-end — that is, after the transistors are fabricated — you face a tight thermal budget that cannot exceed a temperature of about 500 degrees Celsius. If the silicon wafer gets too hot during the back-end processes employed to fabricate the interconnects, other elements that are already on the chip may get damaged, or some impurities may start diffusing, changing the characteristics of the transistors.

Now, after a decade-long quest to achieve graphene interconnects, Banerjee’s lab has developed a method to implement high-conductivity, nanometer-scale doped multilayer graphene (DMG) interconnects that are compatible with high-volume manufacturing of integrated circuits. A paper describing the novel process was named one of the top papers at the 2018 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM),  from more than 230 that were accepted for oral presentations. It also was one of only two papers included in the first annual “IEDM Highlights” section of an issue of the journal Nature Electronics.

Banerjee first proposed the idea of using doped multi-layer graphene at the 2008 IEDM conference and has been working on it ever since. In February 2017 he led the experimental realization of the idea by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) of multilayer graphene at a high temperature, subsequently transferring it to a silicon chip, then patterning the multilayer graphene, followed by doping. Electrical characterization of the conductivity of DMG interconnects down to a width of 20 nanometers established the efficacy of the idea that was proposed in 2008. However, the process was not “CMOS-compatible” (the standard industrial-scale process for making integrated circuits), since the temperature of CVD processes far exceed the thermal budget of back-end processes.

To overcome this bottleneck, Banerjee’s team developed a unique pressure-assisted solid-phase diffusion method for directly synthesizing a large area of high-quality multilayer graphene on a typical dielectric substrate used in the back-end CMOS process. Solid-phase diffusion, well known in the field of metallurgy and often used to form alloys, involves applying pressure and temperature to two different materials that are in close contact so that they diffuse into each other.

Banerjee’s group employed the technique in a novel way. They began by depositing solid-phase carbon in the form of graphite powder onto a deposited layer of nickel metal of optimized thickness. Then they applied heat (300 degrees Celsius) and nominal pressure to the graphite powder to help break down the graphite. The high diffusivity of carbon in nickel allows it to pass rapidly through the metal film.

How much carbon flows through the nickel depends on its thickness and the number of grains it holds. “Grains” refer to the fact that deposited nickel is not a single-crystal metal, but rather a polycrystalline metal, meaning it has areas where two single-crystalline regions meet each other without being perfectly aligned. These areas are called grain boundaries, and external particles — in this case, the carbon atoms — easily diffuse through them. The carbon atoms then recombine on the other surface of the nickel closer to the dielectric substrate, forming multiple graphene layers.

Banerjee’s group is able to control the process conditions to produce graphene of optimal thickness. “For interconnect applications, we know how many layers of graphene are needed,” said Junkai Jiang, a Ph.D. candidate in Banerjee’s lab and lead author of the 2018 IEDM paper. “So we optimized the nickel thickness and other process parameters to obtain precisely the number of graphene layers we want at the dielectric surface. “Subsequently, we simply remove the nickel by etching so that what’s left is only very high-quality graphene — virtually the same quality as graphene grown by CVD at very high temperatures,” he continued. “Because our process involves relatively low temperatures that pose no threat to the other fabricated elements on the chip, including the transistors, we can make the interconnects right on top of them.”

UCSB has filed a provisional patent on the process, which overcomes the obstacles that, until now, have prevented graphene from replacing copper. Bottom line: graphene interconnects help to create faster, smaller, lighter, more flexible, more reliable and more cost-effective integrated circuits. Banerjee is currently in talks with industry partners interested in potentially licensing this CMOS-compatible graphene synthesis technology, which could pave the way for what would be the first 2D material to enter the mainstream semiconductor industry.

Tags:  2D materials  CVD  Graphene  Graphite  Junkai Jiang  Kaustav Banerjee  Semiconductor  UC Santa Barbara 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Unconventional phenomena triggered by acoustic waves in 2D materials

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Researchers at the Center for Theoretical Physics of Complex Systems (PCS), within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea), and colleagues have reported a novel phenomenon, called Valley Acoustoelectric Effect, which takes place in 2D materials, similar to graphene. This research is published in Physical Review Letters and brings new insights to the study of valleytronics.

In acoustoelectronics, surface acoustic waves (SAWs) are employed to generate electric currents. In this study, the team of theoretical physicists modelled the propagation of SAWs in emerging 2D materials, such as single-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). SAWs drag MoS2 electrons (and holes), creating an electric current with conventional and unconventional components. The latter consists of two contributions: a warping-based current and a Hall current. The first is direction-dependent, is related to the so-called valleys -- electrons' local energy minima -- and resembles one of the mechanisms that explains photovoltaic effects of 2D materials exposed to light. The second is due to a specific effect (Berry phase) that affects the velocity of these electrons travelling as a group and resulting in intriguing phenomena, such as anomalous and quantum Hall effects.

The team analyzed the properties of the acoustoelectric current, suggesting a way to run and measure the conventional, warping, and Hall currents independently. This allows the simultaneous use of both optical and acoustic techniques to control the propagation of charge carriers in novel 2D materials, creating new logical devices.

The researchers are interested in controlling the physical properties of these ultra-thin systems, in particular those electrons that are free to move in two dimensions, but tightly confined in the third. By curbing the parameters of the electrons, in particular their momentum, spin, and valley, it will be possible to explore technologies beyond silicon electronics. For example, MoS2 has two district valleys, which could be potentially used in the future for bit storage and processing, making it an ideal material to delve into valleytronics.

"Our theory opens a way to manipulate valley transport by acoustic methods, expanding the applicability of valleytronic effects on acoustoelectronic devices," explains Ivan Savenko, leader of the Light-Matter Interaction in Nanostructures Team at PCS.

Tags:  2D materials  Center for Theoretical Physics of Complex Systems  Electronics  Graphene  Institute for Basic Science  Ivan Savenko 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise Award 2019 Winners Announced

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Two new technology businesses share this year’s £70,000 prize for novel applications of graphene and other 2D materials. The two teams, based at The University of Manchester, are addressing key societal challenges on future energy and food security. They are seeking breakthroughs by using 2D materials to produce hydrogen to generate energy, and by designing polymer hydrogels to increase food production.

The Eli and Britt Harari Enterprise Award, in association with Nobel Laureate Sir Andre Geim, is awarded each year to help the implementation of commercially-viable business proposals from students, post-doctoral researchers and recent graduates of The University of Manchester based on developing the commercial prospects of graphene and other 2D materials.

The first prize of £50,000 was awarded to NanoPlexus and its founding team Jae Jong Byun, Dr. Suelen Barg, Francis Moissinac, Wenji Yang and Thomas Moissinac. Jae and Wenji are undertaking their PhD studies in Dr. Suelen Barg’s research group (Nano3D), with Francis starting in September. Thomas is an aerospace engineering graduate from The University of Manchester. The team has worked under the Nano3D lab in formulating their idea into a marketable product.

NanoPlexus will be developing a range of products using their platform technology; the unique nano-material aerogel technology will offer cost-effective renewable hydrogen production with increased material efficiency for a sustainable green-economy.

Jae said: “Recently, there has been an increased footprint and sense of urgency to transition into renewable energy to tackle climate change. Our concept is ideally positioned to support this transition by acting as a stepping-stone for innovative technology growth into conventional energy systems. Our idea of 2D material-based cells supports the forecasted need of renewable energy implementation, as it uses low to zero carbon energy resources.”

Our commitment to the support of entrepreneurship across the University has never been stronger and is a vital part of our approach to the commercialisation of research. Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Francis added: “We are very grateful to Eli and Britt Harari for their generosity and for the support of the University, which will enable us to develop our novel concept that could one day make a meaningful difference; connecting innovation to convention.”

The runner-up, receiving £20,000, was AEH Innovative Hydrogel Ltd, founded by Beenish Siddique. Beenish has recently graduated with a PhD from the School of Materials. Her technology aims to provide an eco-friendly hydrogel to farmers that, not only increases crop production but also has potential to grow crops in infertile and water stressed lands, with minimum use of water and fertilisers.

Beenish said: “Many farmers, especially in third world countries with warmer climates, are interested in my product. I have a solution that offers higher crop yield with less water and fertiliser usage, hence, less greenhouse gases emission and a much cleaner environment.”

The quality of the business proposals presented in this year’s finals was exceptionally high. Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester and one of the judges for this year’s competition said: “Our commitment to the support of entrepreneurship across the University has never been stronger and is a vital part of our approach to the commercialisation of research. The support provided by Eli Harari over the last five years has enabled new and exciting ventures to be developed. It provides our winners the early-stage funding that is so vital to creating a significant business, while also contributing to health and social benefit. With support from our world-leading graphene research facilities I am certain that they are on the path to success.”

The winners will also receive support from groups across the University, including the University’s new state-of-the-art R&D facility, the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC); its leading support infrastructure for entrepreneurs, the Masood Enterprise Centre; as well as wider networks to help the winners take the first steps towards commercialising these early stage ideas.

The award is co-funded by the North American Foundation for The University of Manchester through the support of one of the University’s former physics students, Dr Eli Harari, founder of global flash-memory giant, SanDisk, and his wife, Britt. It recognises the role that high-level, flexible, early-stage financial support can play in the successful development of a business targeting the full commercialisation of a product or technology related to research in graphene and 2D materials.

Tags:  2D materials  AEH Innovative Hydrogel Ltd  Andre Geim  Beenish Siddique  Eli Harari  Graphene  Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre  Jae Jong Byun  Luke Georghiou  NanoPlexus  SanDisk  Suelen Barg  Thomas Moissinac  Wenji Yang 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Graphene infrared radiation shielding

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, July 22, 2019
Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2019

Scientists of the Warsaw University of Technology Faculty of Chemistry and Process Engineering use graphene oxide and graphene-related compounds to develop new materials for infrared radiation protection. Their IR-GRAPH Project was funded by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR).

“We want our materials to act as a barrier to both heath absorption and release,” says Marta Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka, Ph.D. Eng., who supervised the work. “They are composites. We create them of polymers, using two types at this time. We use graphene materials with added metal oxides, such as titanium oxide, as the filler.”

Such a combination provides efficient screening. “Graphene materials are added to absorb radiation while metal oxides are supposed to disperse it,” explains the researcher.

Competitive Material

The market already offers, for example, window films for radiation protection. However, the materials developed by the scientists of the Warsaw University of Technology can compete with them. “They contain about 5% of added filler to reduce the temperature by a few degrees Celsius,” says Doctor Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka. “We obtain similar results by adding 0.1%, that is 50 times less, of the filler.”

But for now, the team is focused on the materials alone rather than on specific applications. And potential applications are quite easy to see, just to mention windows as well as façades or even fabrics. The materials would protect against heat losses in winter and they would prevent overheating in summer.

For buildings or vehicles, that could mean an alternative to the now common air-conditioning systems, which as we know are extremely energy-intensive. The greater the desired modification of the ambient temperature in a room, the more energy is needed to achieve it. A less energy-intensive support would bring savings in the budget and benefits to the environment.

Looking into the future

Warsaw University of Technology scientists have carried out short-term tests. The results are promising but still a number of aspects must be investigated further, e.g. the polymer performance under UV radiation or at elevated temperatures or at a modified humidity. It is important to test the existing solutions both under various conditions and over a long time. Such testing could be done in a climatic chamber where a material sample could be placed and monitored.

“For instance, we have to work on the color to be able to use our materials in window films as the current color, which is in shades of grey, obscures visibility,” says Doctor Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka. “We want to find new polymers that could be used as warp in our materials.”

A Collaborative Act

The team led by Doctor Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka included Leszek Stobiński, Ph.D., D.Sc., Artur Małolepszy, Ph.D. and a group of students working on their engineer’s or master’s theses under the project. Members of the Chemical and Process Engineering Student Research Group also made a contribution. “They have built a device to measure how efficient our films are,” says Doctor Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka. “It comprises an infrared lamp and a sensor which measures the degrees of temperature reduction.”

The WUT scientists closely collaborated with Tatung University, Taiwan, under the IR-GRAPH project. They also received support of the University of Warsaw Faculty of Physics. “Faculty Dean Prof. Dariusz Wasik and Andrzej Witowski, Ph.D., D.Sc., are experts in solid-state physics and they have carried out spectrometer measurements for us”, says Doctor Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka.

Why IR screening?

Graphene is mainly associated with electronics and automation applications. Graphene use for radiation screening has not been that common yet. “There are references reporting that graphene can offer screening against electromagnetic radiation,” says Doctor Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka. “This aspect is widely researched in the context of microwave radiation and, recently, also terahertz radiation, primarily for military applications. We thought we could investigate graphene properties for infrared radiation as this is quite an unexplored territory.

Infrared radiation has the wavelength ranging from 780 nanometers to 1 millimeter. It combines with the visible light and UV radiation to create the spectrum of sunlight. Excessive sunlight has a harmful effect on human skin. As much as 50% of sunlight which reaches the Earth’s surface is infrared radiation (which can be felt as heat). That is why IR screening is vital.

Tags:  Andrzej Witowski  Artur Małolepszy  Dariusz Wasik  Graphene  Leszek Stobiński  Marta Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka  National Centre for Research and Development  polymers  Warsaw University of Technology 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

High-safety, flexible and scalable Zn//MnO2 rechargeable planar micro-batteries

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, July 18, 2019
Updated: Monday, July 15, 2019
Increasing development of micro-scale electronics has stimulated demand of the corresponding micro-scale power sources, especially for micro-batteries (MBs). However, complex manufacturing process and poor flexibility of the traditional stacked batteries have hindered their practical applications.

Planar MBs have recently garnered great attention due to their simple miniaturization, facile serial/parallel integration and capability of working without separator membranes. Furthermore, planar geometry has extremely short ion diffusion pathway, which is attributed to full integration of printed electronics on a single substrate. Also, in order to get rid of the safety issues induced by the flammable organic electrolyte, the aqueous electrolyte, characterized by intrinsic nonflammability, high ionic conductivity, and nontoxicity, is a promising candidate for large-scale wearable and flexible MB applications. As the consequence, various printing techniques have been used for fabricating planar aqueous MBs. "In particular, screen printing can effectively control the precise pattern design with adjustable rheology of the inks, and is very promising for large-scale application." The author said.

In a new article published in Beijing-based National Science Review, Zhong-Shuai Wu at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, constructed aqueous rechargeable planar Zn//MnO2 batteries by an applicable and cost-effective screen printing strategy. "The planar Zn//MnO2 micro-batteries, free of separators, were manufactured by directly printing the zinc ink as the anode and γ-MnO2 ink as the cathode, high-quality graphene ink as metal-free current collectors, working in environmentally benign neutral aqueous electrolytes of 2 M ZnSO4 and 0.5 M MnSO4." The author stated. Diverse shapes of Zn//MnO2 MBs were fabricated onto different substrates, implying the potential for widespread applications.

The planar separator-free Zn//MnO2 MBs, tested in neutral aqueous electrolyte, deliver high volumetric capacity of 19.3 mAh/cm3 (corresponding to 393 mAh/g), at 7.5 mA/cm3, and notable volumetric energy density of 17.3 mWh/cm3, outperforming lithium thin-film batteries (<=10 mWh/cm3). Moreover, The Zn//MnO2 planar MBs present long-term cyclability, holding high capacity retention of 83.9% after 1300 times at 5 C, superior to stacked Zn//MnO2 MBs reported. Also, Zn//MnO2 planar MBs exhibit exceptional flexibility without observable capacity decay under serious deformation, and remarkable serial and parallel integration of constructing bipolar cells with high voltage and capacity output.

This satisfactory result will open numerous intriguing opportunities in various applications of intelligent, printed and miniaturized electronics. Also, this work will inspire scientists working in nanotechnology, chemistry, material science and energy storage, and may have significant impact on both future technological development of planar micro-scale energy-storage devices and research of graphene based materials.

Tags:  Batteries  Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics  Energy Storage  Graphene  Zhong-Shuai Wu 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

AGM advances applications for water based anti-corrosion coatings

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, July 18, 2019
Updated: Monday, July 15, 2019

Applied Graphene Materials, the producer of specialty graphene materials, has announced it has achieved significant technological progress (patent pending) on the deployment of graphene into water-based coatings to enhance their barrier properties.

Water-based coating development remains a focus for industry formulators.

This push is driven by the continuing tightening of regulations brought in to lessen the detrimental impact that solvent- based coatings have on both worker health and the environment. As the technology for water-based coatings continues to evolve, one of the key challenges that remains is to significantly improve their anti-corrosion performance. In doing so, this will fully extend their use away from decorative applications into broader industrial protective coatings.

Over recent years AGM has proven the outstanding barrier and anti-corrosion performance gains possible by incorporating graphene into solvent-based coating systems using its Genable® dispersion technology. This has been demonstrated with several commercial products reaching industrial end-user markets. However, effective incorporation of graphene into water-based systems has previously proven more problematic due to interrelated issues around materials compatibility and film formation.

This water-based breakthrough is again based on AGM's platform Genable® technology, a range of master dispersions that are designed to facilitate the easy incorporation of graphene into coating formulations and existing processes. Genable® dispersions are fully scalable industrial products and, based on initial findings, the addition levels required to significantly enhance anti-corrosion performance in water-based systems are low enough to ensure commercial viability, even in light industrial applications.

Adrian Potts, CEO of Applied Graphene Materials, said:
"A key driver for coatings developers to upgrade their product formulations is increasing regulatory pressure to improve the environmental impact and safety of their products. This is why AGM is working to replicate the success we have already achieved with the incorporation of our Genable® products into solvent-based products with its incorporation into water-based products. We are delighted to be able to present significant technological progress to our customers, reaffirming AGM as the leader in the development of cutting-edge graphene applications tailored to add significant value for paints and coatings manufacturers."

While the findings being shared publicly are in a commercial acrylic DTM (Direct-to-Metal) coating, AGM believes that water-based Genable® technology could, with considered formulating, equally well be adopted into epoxy chemistries and likewise into more complex formulated primer systems.



AGM remains the industry leader for graphene exploitation into the global paints and coatings industry, boasting a highly experienced formulations and applications team, supported by a well-equipped product development and characterisation laboratory and production capability for consistent manufacturing.

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Applied Graphene Materials  Coatings  Corrosion  Graphene 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Leading Graphene Innovator Sees Graphene Market at a Tipping Point

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Global Graphene Group (G3) has a 17-year relationship with graphene since Dr. Bor Jang, cofounder of Nanotek Instruments, Inc., discovered graphene in 2002.

Today, the G3 organization currently consists of three groupings of companies. First, there is Nanotek Instruments that holds the over three hundred patents the company has filed since its inception in 1997.

Another of the three branches involves graphene production and this branch includes Angstron Materials Group and Taiwan Graphene Company. Angstron Materials is involved in producing graphene intermediates and thermal interface materials. Taiwan Graphene Company produces graphene oxide and graphene powder.

The third branch of the corporate structure of G3 involves the company’s energy storage interests. This includes two companies: Honeycomb Battery Company and Angstron Energy Company. Angstron Energy produces both a high-energy silicon anode and a graphene-enabled cathode. Honeycomb Battery is focused on producing lithium-sulfur batteries, non-flammable electrolytes and next-generation lithium battery technologies.

G3 recently became a member of The Graphene Council and we took the opportunity to talk to the company’s representatives, including Dr. Jang. Here is our discussion.

Q: The Global Graphene Group (G3) has an interesting pedigree, being a holding company for Angstron Materials, Nanotek Instruments and Honeycomb Battery. Could you provide a bit of background of how the company came to be and how the various companies that make it up create an overall strategy for the commercialization of graphene?

A: In order to properly answer this question, we would like to tell a brief story about a 17-year relationship with graphene.

Dr. Bor Jang founded Nanotek Instruments Inc. in 1997 and over the past two decades, researchers at Nanotek have developed a broad array of nanomaterials and energy storage and conversion technologies.

A significant accomplishment of Nanotek researchers is the fact that Dr. Jang’s research team discovered/invented graphene in 2002, two years before Drs. A. Geim and K. Novoselov published their first paper on graphene in 2004 [Science 306, 666–669 (October 2004)]. Drs. Geim and Novoselov won the 2010 Nobel Physics Prize for their work on graphene.

There is no doubt that Drs. Geim and Novoselov have made highly significant contributions to graphene science and, as such, well-deserve this Nobel Prize. However, it is important for Graphene Council’s members and associates to recognize that Nanotek researchers had submitted three (3) US patent applications and delivered a lecture on graphene before October 2004 when that milestone paper was published. This fact is evidenced in the following:

  • B. Z. Jang and W. C. Huang, “Nano-scaled Graphene Plates,” US Patent Application No. 10/274,473 (submitted on 10/21/2002); now U.S. Pat. No. 7,071,258 (issued 07/04/2006).
  • B. Z. Jang, et al. “Process for Producing Nano-scaled Graphene Plates,” U.S. Patent Application No. 10/858,814 (06/03/2004).
  • Bor Z. Jang, “Nanocomposite compositions for hydrogen storage and methods for supplying hydrogen to fuel cells,” US Pat. Appl. No. 10/910,521 (08/03/2004); now US Pat. No. 7,186,474 (03/06/2007).
  • W. Schwalm, M. Schwalm, and B. Z. Jang, “Local Density of States for Nanoscale Graphene Fragments,” Am. Phy. Soc. Paper No. C1.157, 03/2004, Montreal, Canada.

(In March 2004, Dr. Jang and his colleagues (Drs. W. Schwalm, M. Schwalm, and J. Wagner) presented a paper at the American Physical Society’s Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada that discussed the density of state function and related electronic properties of graphene.)

Contrary to the common misconception in the graphene space that the liquid phase exfoliation method was developed in 2008 by a Dublin College team (Hernandez, Y. et al. “High-yield production of graphene by liquid-phase exfoliation of graphite,” Nature Nanotechnology, 3, 563–568 (2008)), Dr. Zhamu/Dr. Jang’s research team at Nanotek developed this method and filed a patent application in 2007.

This provides an effective way of producing pristine graphene directly from graphite without chemical intercalation or oxidation [A. Zhamu, et al., “Method of Producing Exfoliated Graphite, Flexible Graphite, and Nano-Scaled Graphene Plates,” US Patent Application No. 11/800,728 (05/08/2007); now US Patent No. 7,824,651 (11/02/2010)].

Between 2002 and 2007, the Nanotek teams also developed other important graphene production processes, including chemical oxidation, supercritical fluid exfoliation, and electrochemical exfoliation.

Supported by significant IP on several different graphene production processes and graphene applications in composites, thermal management, supercapacitor, and batteries, etc., Drs. Zhamu and Jang decided to co-found Angstron Materials, Inc. in 2007 to begin to scale-up of selected graphene production processes and certain graphene application products.

Subsequently, after many years of development, prototyping, and mass production efforts and establishment of a vast IP portfolio, we found the timing was right for us to establish several business units for more effective commercialization of vastly different products for different industries.

Taiwan Graphene Company (TGC) was founded in 2015 as a leading producer of single-layer graphene oxide, graphene-based nano-intermediates and non-energy-focused application products. Angstron Energy Company (AEC) was founded in 2015 as producer of lithium battery anode and cathode materials. Honeycomb Battery Company (HBC) was also founded in 2015 as a developer and producer of next-generation safe and long-lasting lithium metal batteries, including quasi-solid state battery, lithium-sulfur battery, and lithium-air battery. Angstron Materials was assigned as a research and development company for development of new processes and products. Nanotek remains as the IP-holding company. As suggested by our investors, we also decided to position all five organizations under one umbrella – Global Graphene Group (G3).

Q: How are you marketing graphene at this point, i.e. are you selling graphene raw materials, master batches, etc.? Or are you developing products that incorporate graphene, specifically for Li-ion batteries? Are there other applications you’re pursuing in addition to energy storage?

A: Our Taiwan Graphene Co. (TGC) is selling graphene in powder and dispersion forms, masterbatches for composites, thermal management products, etc. Angstron Energy Co. (AEC) is selling graphene-enabled Si anode materials and graphene-enhanced cathode materials for the lithium-ion battery industry. Honeycomb Battery Company (HBC) is poised to commercialize lithium metal protection technology, non-flammable electrolytes, graphene-enabled sulfur and selenium cathodes, and graphene-enhanced current collectors for next-generation lithium batteries.

Q: What production methods do you use to make your graphene? How has this production avenue determined the applications for your material?

A: We use a combination of improved chemical oxidation process, liquid phase exfoliation, and other proprietary processes, which G3 invented. We have found that different applications require the use of different graphene types produced by different processes.

Q: What have you discovered to be the biggest challenges for your commercialization of graphene and how have you overcome them?

A: We see the greatest challenge to commercialization that it takes time to qualify the application of graphene into various products. We have relationships with several large OEMs in different markets working with our graphene. It just takes time to go through the qualification process.

Q: What direction do you see for the company in the future? Do you see the company moving further up the value chain to the point where all your graphene production is used internally?

A: The future is to grow. We’re targeting to reach $600m+ in annual sales within the next five years between the combination of products in our value chain and graphene raw materials.

Q: What do you think we can expect in the commercialization of graphene over the next 5 to 10 years?

A: Several major applications (so-called killer applications) of graphene are expected to emerge soon. We will see exponential growth as customers integrate graphene into their products to a point where large expansions of graphene manufacturing are necessary. The challenge will be keeping up with the demand.

Tags:  batteries  discovery  graphene  Nobel Prize 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Haydale graphene-enhanced composite tooling and automotive body panels

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Haydale announces that its graphene-enhanced prepreg has now been incorporated in the composite tooling and automotive body panels of the new 'BAC Mono R', which made its debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed.


Briggs Automotive Company (BAC), working alongside both Haydale and Pentaxia, has built the lightweight BAC Mono R body using Haydale’s graphene-enhanced carbon composite materials.

The component parts have been formed using Haydale’s graphene-enhanced tooling materials. The outcome of the process for manufacturing the body parts is a full visual carbon material which can be lacquered or painted as required. Utilisation of graphene-enhanced tooling materials offers the potential for significant improvements in the following aspects:

  • The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) – is more closely matched when using composite tooling. A key issue with the use of metal tooling is a significant mismatch in (CTE)
  • The need for superior quality – higher dimensional stability tooling is increasing the demand for composite tooling
  • Current composite tools also suffer from a finite life - wearing of the tool surfaces and microcracking. The use of graphene has the potential to increase the life of the tools

Keith Broadbent, CEO at Haydale, commented: “In the development of this project, Haydale has improved the supply chain and cycle times as well as enabling BAC to reduce weight and increase performance of the material. Whilst this outcome has focused on the automotive sector, the knowledge and improvements made provide a wider opportunity for tooling materials across several markets, particularly where there are throughput constraints.”

Ian Briggs, Design Director at Briggs Automotive Company, added:

“BAC is forever an innovator, and being able to release a new car fully incorporating the use of graphene is just another example of how we’re pushing the boundaries. Niche vehicle manufacturers are of paramount importance in the automotive industry, acting as stepping stones for mass-market production technology – and after the overwhelming success of our R&D project with Haydale and Pentaxia, Mono R could well be a stepping stone for graphene-enhanced composite body panels and tooling reaching the wider automotive industry in the near future.”

Tags:  Briggs Automotive Company  Graphene  Haydale  Ian Briggs  Keith Broadbent 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Laser-induced graphene composites are eminently wearable

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, June 24, 2019
Graphene has a unique combination of properties that is ideal for next-generation electronics, including mechanical flexibility, high electrical conductivity, and chemical stability. The burgeoning field of wearable electronics – 'smart' fabrics with invisibly integrated energy harvesting, energy storage, electronics and sensor systems – benefits from graphene in numerous ways. Graphene materials, be they pristine or composites, will lead to smaller high-capacity and fast-charging supercapacitors, completely flexible and even rollable electronics and energy-storage devices, and transparent batteries.

To realize the commercial potential of graphene, it is necessary to develop reliable, cost-effective and facile processes for the industry-scale fabrication of graphene-based devices.

One possible route is inkjet printing, already extensively demonstrated with conductive metal nanoparticle inks. Although liquid-phase graphene dispersions have been demonstrated, researchers are still struggling with sophisticated inkjet printing technologies that allow efficient and reliable mass production of high-quality graphene patterns for practical applications.

A novel solution comes from the team at Joseph Wang's Laboratory for Nanobioelectronics at UC San Diego. Reporting their findings in Advanced Materials Technologies ("Laser-Induced Graphene Composites for Printed, Stretchable, and Wearable Electronics"), they demonstrate the synthesis of high-performance stretchable graphene ink using a facile, scalable, and low-cost laser induction method for the synthesis of the graphene component.

As a proof-of-concept, the researchers fabricated a stretchable micro-supercapacitor (S-MSC) demonstrating the highest capacitance reported for a graphene-based highly stretchable MSC to date. This also is the first example of using laser-induced graphene in the form for a powder preparation of graphene-based inks and subsequently for use in screen-printing of S-MSC.

Back in 2014, researchers at Rice University created flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene from a cheap polymer by burning it with a computer-controlled laser, a technique they called laser-induced graphene (LIG). This high-yield and low-cost graphene synthesis process works in air at room temperature and eliminates the need for hot furnaces and controlled environments, and it makes graphene that is suitable for electronics or energy storage.

"LIG can be prepared from a few polymeric substances, such as Kapton polyimide and polyetherimide, as well as various sustainable biomasses, including wood, lignin, cloth, paper, or hydrothermal carbons," Farshad Tehrani, the paper's first author. "On the other hand, LIG has considerably enhanced dispersion in typical solvent and binders due to its inherently abundant defects and surface functional groups."

He points out that the team's novel method, while maintaining the distinct advantages of the direct-written LIG, unlocks untapped potentials of the LIG material in several areas:

Mechanical stretchability: In this study, the inherently brittle and mechanically fragile LIG electrodes are turned into a mechanically robust, highly stretchable electrodes, with the new ink attractive for diverse wearable electronic devices.

Enhanced electrochemical performance: The areal capacitance of the team's S-MSC has far surpassed that of direct-written laser LIG and has produced the highest areal capacitance reported for highly stretchable supercapacitors.

Customized composite formulations: The basic ink formulation is compatible with a wide range of compositions using the LIG as an attractive conductive filler.

Substrate versatility: Unlike direct-laser writing, which is limited to polymeric substrates and several biomasses, the LIG ink can be printed on almost any stretchable and non stretchable substrate, such as polymeric substrates, fabrics, or textiles.

"During the development of our new supercapacitor, we discovered a specific synergic effect between polymeric binders poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) mixed with Polyurethane (PU), PEDOT:PSS-PU and graphene sheets in producing exceptional electromechanical performances," adds Fernando Soto, a co-author of the paper. "We realized that when both sides of the graphene sheets are thoroughly covered with the conductive/elastic PEDOT:PSS/PU polymer, it results in a robust composite that withstands severe shear stresses during stretching."

"Not only that, but it also maintains above 85% of its electrochemical performance such as its charge storing capacitance properties, composite conductivity and electrochemical stability at high charge-discharge cycles," he adds.

In developing wearable electronic devices, researchers need to deal with a range of issues where stretchability and mechanical performance of the device is as important as its electronic properties such as conductivity, charge storage properties and, generally, its high electrochemical performance.

Rather than focusing on one of these specific problems, the team's work addresses a series of challenges that include high mechanical and electrochemical performance while keeping the costs at their lowest possible point for realistic commercialization scenarios.

"From the design to the implementation stages of our study, the primary focus has been devoted to scalability, versatility and cost efficiency of a high performance platform that can potentially spark further innovations using nanocomposite materials in the field of wearable electronics," notes Tehrani.

The next stages of the team's work in this area of wearable applications will see the integration of these high-performance S-MSCs with batteries and energy harvesting systems such as biofuel cells, triboelectrics, and piezoelectrics.

Tags:  Farshad Tehrani  Graphene  Joseph Wang  nanocomposites  nanoelectronics  Sensors  UC San Diego 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Why is Characterizing Graphene So Damn Hard?

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Friday, June 21, 2019

Graphene materials are notoriously difficult to characterize despite the many different techniques available today, including Raman Spectroscopy, TEM, SEM, BET, XPS, AFM and others depending on what aspect of the material you are looking to understand. 

In addition, different types and forms of graphene will lend themselves to some test and less so for others. For example, it will make a significant difference in the test and testing procedure if you are working with CVD mono-layer graphene or multi-layer graphene nanoplatelets, not to mention Graphene Oxide (GO) or a reduced Graphene Oxide (rGO). 

Is the material in a dry powder form, in solution or is it in a paste? Has it been treated with a surfactant? Has it been functionalized and if so with which molecules? 

Layered on top of these challenges is the fact that you are often testing just an incredibly small fraction of a production run. Is the sample representative to begin with? And once you are running your test are you just looking at a few isolated flakes or are you looking at the full sample set? 

Add all of this together and it becomes quite clear that proper testing of graphene material, especially in an industrial production setting, is expensive and time consuming. 

There is a tremendous need therefore for new testing methodologies that can test graphene batches and larger sample sizes in a way that is still meaningful and useful without being overly expensive. Oh, and it should be fast and not subject to complicated preparation procedures nor wide margins of uncertainty.

Are you using XRD for Graphene Characterization? 

One method that has been used is XRD (X-Ray Diffractometer), however it is not one of the more commonly used tests for graphene characterization at this point. 

The Graphene Council would like to start a discussion to help understand if XRD could be used more frequently for reliable graphene testing. 

We kindly ask you to send me your comments to this post and answer the following questions in your own words;

Q. What are the benefits of using XRD to test dry bulk samples of graphene materials (in all forms of commercially available materials) and what are its most obvious limitations? 

SEND TO: tbarkan@thegraphenecouncil.org

(Two papers have been linked above [click on the images] for reference.)

We will collect the replies and put them together in an article for the community. 

Thank you in advance for contributing to our understanding of whether XRD could be a candidate for broader use as a measurement technique for graphene characterization. 

 

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Operational Update on Commercial Graphene Facility

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Updated: Saturday, June 15, 2019

NanoXplore Inc. has recently provided an operational update on its new 10,000 metric ton/year commercial graphene facility in Ville St-Laurent (Montréal), Québec, including:

- New Graphene Facility Construction Project Update;
- Capital Expenditures (“CapEx”) Update;
- Operating Expenditures (“Opex”) Update; and
- Graphene Sales Update.

Mr. Rocco Marinaccio, Chief Operational Officer of NanoXplore, commented:

“We are delighted to report on the Corporation’s first significant operational steps in solidifying the commercialization of graphene. The operations team has been working diligently to ensure that the project remains on time and within budget. I am happy to announce that we have achieved this goal to date.

We are now fully engaged and focused on the project’s execution that will further demonstrate that our technology is scalable and economically viable in comparison to other carbon-based additives. As originally scheduled, we plan to commission the new facility at the end of this calendar year and execute our Phase One objective (4,000 metric tons/year) by calendar Q1, 2020”.

New Graphene Facility Construction Project Update  

NanoXplore’s new graphene production facility (located at 4500 Thimens Blvd, Ville St-Laurent, Montréal, Québec) will be housed within an existing 70,000 square foot building. The Corporation has ordered all major long lead time equipment for Phase One (4,000 metric tons/year) development with expected delivery scheduled for the end of calendar Q4 of this year.

All main equipment is being manufactured in America and Europe by reputable companies and all engineering related to these purchases has been completed. No further major equipment purchases will be needed. The detailed engineering related to electrical and mechanical for the major equipment has been completed and remains on-going for other components within the facility. The procurement has been completed for all major equipment and NanoXplore has awarded contracts for the construction and automation of the new facility. The new graphene plant will be a fully automated production plant that will enable a connected and flexible manufacturing system. 

CapEx Update 


NanoXplore anticipates CapEx (capital expenditure) to be 10% less than originally estimated. The overall development for Phase One (4,000 metric tons/year) of the new facility is expected to be on time and under the original planned budget. More specifically, the construction process has already commenced, as indicated above, installation and commissioning of the new plant is expected to begin during calendar Q4 of this year and all primary costs have been contracted and accounted for. The Corporation expects Phase One (4,000 metric tons/year), of a two-phase 10,000 metric tons/year production project, to be fully operational during calendar Q1 of 2020.   

Opex Update

NanoXplore’s Operations team has been working diligently to ensure that continual improvements are implemented during the facility’s project development. The new graphene facility layout has been finalized and fully optimized. This optimization will allow the Corporation to add an additional graphene production line without the need of expanding the new facility as originally contemplated. Furthermore, significant developments in manufacturing efficiencies have bolstered single line graphene production output from 2,000 metric tons/year to 4,000 metric tons/year, doubling single line production capacity. This improvement was a result of a vigorous twelve-month R&D and engineering project that has been successfully tested and implemented at the Corporation’s current production facility. These results were further validated through additional testing on the new facility’s equipment at the suppliers’ locations in the US and in Canada.  

The Operations team has also made significant improvements towards reducing the Corporation’s input costs to produce graphene. We are now able to produce high-quality graphene using small natural flake graphite (-150 mesh). Small natural flake graphite is substantially cheaper than large flake graphite (+80 mesh). Large flake graphite is the current graphite of choice for the Lithium Ion battery market. NanoXplore’s ability to move away from larger flake higher demand will not only dramatically reduce input costs, but will also help the Corporation secure a more readily available graphite supply, significantly reducing future supply risks.

Tags:  Graphene  NanoXplore  Rocco Marinaccio 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Graphene Council Expands Team of Graphene Experts

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Monday, June 17, 2019
Updated: Friday, June 14, 2019
No one knows more about graphene commercial applications than the team of experts at The Graphene Council . . . and that team just added an important new resource, Dr. Jo Anne Shatkin, Founder and President at Vireo Advisers.
 
Dr. Shatkin leads a global network of subject matter experts focused on regulatory and safety strategies for novel bio-based and nanoscale technology commercialization.
 
Providing state of the art analyses for public and private organizations toward safe and sustainable new product development, Dr. Shatkin is an environmental health scientist.
 
She is a recognized expert in environmental science and policy, human health risk assessment, emerging substances policy and nanotechnology, especially safety of carbon-based nanomaterials. 
 
Her skills form a perfect compliment to the existing Graphene Council Advisory Team, bringing deep expertise in health and safety issues at a critical time for graphene commercial adoption. Specifically; 
 
  • Safety Data Sheet preparation, 
  • Expert advice on safety and regulatory requirements for global markets and product categories, 
  • Best practice guidance on safe occupational handling strategies, 
  • Regulatory package preparation
  • Third party reviews and opinions, 
  • Safety methods development, testing coordination and, 
  • Introductions to specialty testing experts. 
 
As the largest community in the world for graphene professionals, researchers and academics, The Graphene Council is your best source for expert advice and guidance regarding any aspect of graphene application and development. 
 
Whether you are a producer looking for new markets, a buyer looking for the best source of graphene, a university tech transfer office looking for commercialization partners, or a materials R&D lab looking to leverage the graphene revolution, you can rely on The Graphene Council to find the right information, solutions and connections.
 
As an Affiliate Partner with the University of Manchester's Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC) and partnerships with other leading institutions, The Graphene Council has unparalleled access to the best and the brightest in the field of graphene commercialization.
 
 
Terrance Barkan CAE
Executive Director, The Graphene Council

Tags:  Graphene Adviser  Graphene Consultants  Graphene Expert 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Scientists create ultraviolet light on a graphene surface

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Sunday, June 2, 2019
Updated: Friday, May 31, 2019

Ultraviolet light is used to kill bacteria and viruses, but UV lamps contain toxic mercury. A newly developed nanomaterial is changing that.

The nano research team led by professors Helge Weman and Bjørn-Ove Fimland at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)’s Department of Electronic Systems has succeeded in creating light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, from a nanomaterial that emits ultraviolet light (Nano Letters, "GaN/AlGaN Nanocolumn Ultraviolet Light-Emitting Diode Using Double-Layer Graphene as Substrate and Transparent Electrode").It is the first time anyone has created ultraviolet light on a graphene surface.

“We’ve shown that it’s possible, which is really exciting,” says PhD candidate Ida Marie Høiaas, who has been working on the project with Andreas Liudi Mulyo, who is also a PhD candidate.
“We’ve created a new electronic component that has the potential to become a commercial product. It’s non-toxic and could turn out to be cheaper, and more stable and durable than today’s fluorescent lamps. If we succeed in making the diodes efficient and much cheaper, it’s easy to imagine this equipment becoming commonplace in people’s homes. That would increase the market potential considerably,” Høiaas says.

Dangerous – but useful

Although it’s important to protect ourselves from too much exposure to the sun’s UV radiation, ultraviolet light also has very useful properties. This applies especially to UV light with short wavelengths of 100-280 nanometres, called UVC light, which is especially useful for its ability to destroy bacteria and viruses. Fortunately, the dangerous UVC rays from the sun are trapped by the ozone layer and oxygen and don’t reach the Earth. But it is possible to create UVC light, which can be used to clean surfaces and hospital equipment, or to purify water and air.

The problem today is that many UVC lamps contain mercury. The UN’s Minamata Convention, which went into effect in 2017, sets out measures to phase out mercury mining and reduce mercury use. The convention was named for a Japanese fishing village where the population was poisoned by mercury emissions from a factory in the 1950s.

Building on graphene

A layer of graphene placed on glass forms the substrate for the researchers’ new diode that generates UV light.

Graphene is a super-strong and ultra-thin crystalline material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms. Researchers have succeeded in growing nanowires of aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) on the graphene lattice.

The process takes place in a high temperature vacuum chamber where aluminium and gallium atoms are deposited or grown directly on the graphene substrate – with high precision and in the presence of nitrogen plasma. This process is known as molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and is conducted in Japan, where the NTNU research team collaborates with Professor Katsumi Kishino at Sophia University in Tokyo.

Let there be light

After growing the sample, it is transported to the NTNU NanoLab where the researchers make metal contacts of gold and nickel on the graphene and nanowires. When power is sent from the graphene and through the nanowires, they emit UV light. Graphene is transparent to light of all wavelengths, and the light emitted from the nanowires shines through the graphene and glass.

“It’s exciting to be able to combine nanomaterials this way and create functioning LEDs, says Høiaas.
An analysis has calculated that the market for UVC products will increase by NOK 6 billion, or roughly US $700 million between now and 2023. The growing demand for such products and the phase- out of mercury are expected to yield an annual market increase of almost 40 per cent.

Concurrently with her PhD research at NTNU, Høiaas is working with the same technology on an industrial platform for CrayoNano. The company is a spinoff of NTNU’s nano research environment.

Use less electricity more cheaply

UVC LEDs that can replace fluorescent bulbs are already on the market, but CrayoNano’s goal is to create far more energy-efficient and cheaper diodes. According to the company, one reason that today’s UV LEDs are expensive is that the substrate is made of costly aluminium nitride. Graphene is cheaper to manufacture and requires less material for the LED diode.
Høiaas believes that the technology needs to be improved quite a bit before the process developed at NTNU can be scaled up to industrial production level.

Among the issues that need to be addressed are conductivity and energy efficiency, more advanced nanowire structures and shorter wavelengths to create UVC light. CrayoNano has made progress, but results documenting their progress have not yet been published. “CrayoNano’s goal is to commercialize the technology sometime in 2022,” says Høiaas.

Tags:  Bjørn-Ove Fimland  CrayoNano AS  Graphene  Helge Weman  nanomaterials  Norwegian University of Science and Technology  ultraviolet 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

AGM signs distribution agreement with CAME srl

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Friday, May 31, 2019

Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) announced it has signed a distribution agreement with CAME Srl, Italy, a leading international chemical distribution business. The agreement extends AGM's commercial reach directly into the Italian coatings and chemicals sectors. CAME, based in Milan, also represents a wide range of international supply partners throughout Europe and the Middle East. Its customer base includes many organisations in the coatings, adhesives and lubricants markets, making it an ideal distribution partner for AGM in the Italian market within its key target sectors.

AGM and CAME have been engaged in early market development over the last 18 months and the agreement represents a major commitment from both companies to exploit AGM's exciting graphene technology.

Adrian Potts, AGM CEO commented:

"It is an absolute priority for AGM to maximise its global exploitation plans. We are pleased with growing industry recognition of the benefits of our Genable® graphene dispersion technologies. These are proving to be ideally suited to anti-corrosion and barrier performance in coatings and are generating increasing commercial traction in the sector. We are gaining significant momentum in Italy with a growing number of target accounts. Complementary to this is our strategy of establishing a highly credible and technically reactive distribution network to effectively broaden our sales footprint. CAME are ideal partners for AGM and having worked with them over recent months, we are confident they will provide an excellent route to market for AGM products."

Verena Cepparulo, CAME Managing Director:

"We have followed the development of AGM's Genable® dispersion technology and see its great potential, particularly in the area of anti-corrosion performance. AGM has demonstrated they now have a strong product base, supported by a highly experienced and skilled technical support team, and we are very excited by the opportunity to be part of their ambitious growth plans. We have already undertaken our own market research and see significant potential within the Italian market".

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Applied Graphene Materials  CAME srl  coatings  Corrosion  Graphene  Verena Cepparulo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

How to enlarge 2D materials as single crystals?

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Friday, May 31, 2019

What makes something a crystal? When all of its atoms are arranged in accordance with specific mathematical rules, we call the material a single crystal. Like the natural world has its unique symmetry just as snowflakes or honeycombs, the atomic world of crystals is designed by its own structure and symmetry. This material structure has a profound effect on its physical properties as well. Specifically, single crystals play an important role in inducing material's intrinsic properties to its full extent. Faced with the coming end of the miniaturization process that the silicon-based integrated circuit has allowed up to this point, huge efforts have been dedicated to find a single crystalline replacement for silicon.


In search for the transistor of the future, two-dimensional (2D) materials, especially graphene have been the subject of intense research around the world. Being thin and flexible as a result of being only a single layer of atoms, this 2D version of carbon even features unprecedented electricity and heat conductivity. However, the last decade's efforts for graphene transistors have been held up by physical restraints graphene allows no control over electricity flow due to the lack of band gap. Then, what about other 2D materials? A number of interesting 2D materials have been reported to have similar or even superior properties. Still, the lack of understanding in creating ideal experimental conditions for large-area 2D materials has limited their maximum size to just a few mm 2.

Scientists at the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Material (CMCM) within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) (located in the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)) have presented a novel approach to synthesize large-scale of silicon wafer size, single crystalline 2D materials. Prof. Feng Ding and Ms. Leining Zhang in collaboration with their colleagues in Peking University, China and other institutes have found a substrate with a lower order of symmetry than that of a 2D material that facilitates the synthesis of single crystalline 2D materials in a large area. "It was critical to find the right balance of rotational symmetries between a substrate and a 2D material," notes Prof. Feng Ding, one of corresponding authors of this study. The researchers successfully synthesized hBN single crystals of 10*10 cm2 by using a new substrate: a surface nearby Cu (110) that has a lower symmetry of (1) than hBN with (3).

Then, why does symmetry matters? Symmetry, in particular rotational symmetry, describes how many times a certain shape fits on to itself during a full rotation of 360 degrees. The most efficient method to synthesize large-area and single crystals of 2D materials is to arrange layers over layers of small single crystals and grow them upon a substrate. In this epitaxial growth, it is quite challenging to ensure all of the single crystals are aligned in a single direction. Orientation of the crystals is often affected by the underlying substrate. By theoretical analysis, the IBS scientists found that an hBN island (or a group of hBN atoms forming a single triangle shape) has two equivalent alignments on the Cu(111) surface that has a very high symmetry of (6). "It was a common view that a substrate with high symmetry may lead to the growth of materials with a high symmetry. It seemed to make sense intuitively, but this study found it is incorrect," says Ms. Leining Zhang, the first author of the study.

Previously, various substrates such as Cu(111) have been used to synthesize single crystalline hBN in a large area, but none of them were successful. Every effort ended with hBN islands aligning along in several different directions on the surfaces. Convinced by the fact that the key to achieve unidirectional alignment is to reduce the symmetry of the substrate, the researchers made tremendous efforts to obtain vicinal surfaces of a Cu(110) orientation; a surface obtained by cutting a Cu(110) with a small tilt angle. It is like forming physical steps on Cu. As a hBN island tends to place in parallel to the edge of each step, it gets only one preferred alignment. The small tilt angle lowers the symmetry of the surface as well.

They eventually found that a class of vicinal surfaces of Cu (110) can be used to support the growth of hBN with perfect alignment. On a carefully selected substrate with the lowest symmetry or the surface will repeat itself only after a 360degree rotation, hBN has only one preferred direction of alignment. The research team of Prof. Kaihui Liu in Peking University, has developed a unique method to anneal a large Cu foil, up to 10*10 cm2, into a single crystal with the vicinal Cu (110) surface and, with it, they have achieved the synthesis of hBN single crystals of same size.

Besides flexibility and ultrathin thickness, emerging 2D materials can present extraordinary properties when they get enlarged as single crystals. "This study provides a general guideline for the experimental synthesis of various 2D materials. Besides the hBN, many other 2D materials could be synthesized with the large area single crystalline substrates with low symmetry," says Prof. Feng Ding. Notably, hBN is the most representative 2D insulator, which is different from the conductive 2D materials, such as graphene, and 2D semiconductors, such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). The vertical stacking of various types of 2D materials, such as hBN, graphene and MoS2, would lead to a large number of new materials with exceptional properties and can be used for numerous applications, such as high-performance electronics, sensors, or wearable electronics."

Tags:  2D materials  Center for Multidimensional Carbon Material  Feng Ding  Graphene  Kaihui Liu  Peking University  Semiconductors 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 9
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  >   >>   >|