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Talga Anode Achieves Outstanding Freezing Temperature Performance

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Saturday, March 23, 2019
Talga Resources , ispleased to announce outstanding low temperature test results from its engineered graphite anode product for lithium-ion batteries, Talnode™-C.

Development of Talnode-C is accelerating through rigorous commercial validation processes at multiple commercial partner facilities and independent battery institutes in Asia, USA and Europe. In new tests conducted at a leading Japanese battery institute, Li-ion batteries using Talnode-C were subjected to performance tests under a range of temperatures including freezing conditions. Highlights of the test results include:
• Retention of 100% capacity and 100% cycle efficiency at freezing temperature (0°C)
• Out-performance of market leading commercial anode products

In freezing conditions Li-ion batteries usually suffer lower capacity retention and cycling efficiency, causing shorter run time of devices such as laptop computers and mobile phones, or shorter driving range of electric vehicles. Cold temperatures can also cause deposits of lithium metal to form in the battery, causing internal short circuits that can lead to fire in the cell, making low temperature performance a critical technical deliverable for Li-ion batteries1.

Talga Managing Director, Mr Mark Thompson: “These results show Talnode-C has the potential to solve problems that have long challenged Li-ion batteries in cold weather applications, where conventional graphite anodes struggle or fail to perform. This is a further demonstration that Talga’s anode products made from our high grade graphite deposit in Sweden, using wholly owned process and refining technology, have exciting potential in the fast growing Li-ion battery market.”

Moving Forward
Market validation of the TalnodeTM product range, and in particular the flagship Li-ion anode product Talnode-C, continues as Talga works to incorporate the development of its new class of high-performance graphitic carbon anode products into its long-term business strategy.

Advanced testing and validation, including the surface treatment and coating of Talnode-C, progresses across multiple commercial partner facilities and independent battery institutes in Asia, USA and Europe. It is expected that Talnode-C, a fully engineered and formulated active anodeready product to be marketed directly towards Li-ion battery manufacturers, will form the
foundation of a near-term commercialisation opportunity for the Company’s larger scale development of the Vittangi graphite project in Sweden.

Low Temperature Technical Background
Li-ion batteries are widely used at room temperature because of their high specific energy and energy density, long cycle life, low self-discharge, and long shelf life2. When charging a Li-ion battery, the lithium ions inside the battery are soaked up (as in a sponge) by the porous negative electrode (anode), made of graphite.

Under temperatures approaching freezing (0°C) however, the lithium ions aren’t efficiently captured by the anode. Instead, many lithium ions are reduced to lithium metal and coat the surface of the anode, a process called lithium plating, resulting in less lithium available to carry the flow of electricity. Consequently, the battery’s capacity and cycle efficiency drops and this translates to poorer performance3.

In cooler countries of the northern hemisphere, it has been measured that the driving range of electric vehicles can be reduced by 41% in real world sub-zero conditions4. The most significant negative effect of low temperature on Li-ion batteries is the generation of lithium metal growths called dendrites, which can perforate the separator and cause a short circuit or fire in the lithium-ion cells. A highly visible example of this was in the 2013 grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft following a spate of electrical system failures, including fires. Investigation found that cold winter overnight temperatures fostered lithium plating within the battery cells and caused the short circuits5.

Tags:  Graphene  Li-ion batteries  Mark Thompson  Talga Resources 

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Versarien PLC - USA Update

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Saturday, March 23, 2019
Versarien plc, is pleased to provide an update on the Company's activities in the United States of America. Versarien has recently established a new US corporate entity, Versarien Graphene Inc, to facilitate the Company's graphene and other 2D materials activities in the USA.  The Company is additionally in the process of establishing a new office, laboratory facility and applications centre in Houston, Texas that will act as a hub for the Company's activities in North America.

Patrick Abbott has been appointed as Versarien's Vice President North American Operations to oversee these activities and he will be based at the Company's Houston facility once established.  Patrick is an experienced speciality materials professional with over 20 years' experience in the sector.  

He is a former US Marine Corps Officer who spent over 16 years in a variety of global business development and marketing roles at BASF. In 2015 and 2016, Patrick was part of the team transitioning specific product lines to Huntsman Corporation. Subsequently he established Global Marketing Empire Solutions, a disruptive technology consulting company and joined XG Sciences, a company focussed on graphene nano technology, as their global sales manager.  At XG Sciences he was tasked with assisting the executive team in transitioning the company from an academic company to full commercialisation.

The establishment of this US presence follows on from collaboration with partners in the region.  Further North American potential collaboration partners and customers have been identified, both through inbound enquires and proactive approaches, and it is intended that the Houston facility and additional resource will enable these to be more efficiently progressed.

The Company is pleased to be participating in the UK Government organised "UK Technology and Capability Showcase" being held at Collins Aerospace in Charlotte, North Carolina, on 25 March 2019 where the Company will be presenting its 2D materials technology to Collins Aerospace representatives.

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: "We are very pleased to be moving to the next stage of our development in the US with the establishment of Versarien Graphene Inc and a dedicated facility in Houston. 

"We are already pursuing a number of substantial opportunities in the US and I expect our level of activity to significantly increase in the coming months, particularly given the high number of enquires we have had for the supply of our graphene and other 2D materials from leading US companies."

"I am also particularly pleased we have secured the services of Patrick Abbott and I would like to formally welcome him to the Versarien team.  His skills and experience will be invaluable as we look to build more relationships and commercialise graphene enhanced products with US companies."

"Coupled with the recent progress we have made in China and elsewhere we remain confident that we can make further rapid progress this year.  I look forward to providing further updates on our US and other activities in due course."

Tags:  2D materials  Graphene  Neill Ricketts  Patrick Abbott  Versarien 

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Gold and graphene now used in biosensors to detect diseases

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Graphene and gold are now being used in ultrasensitive biosensors to detect diseases at the molecular level with near perfect efficiency.


In a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists with the University of Minnesota explain how they developed ultrasensitive biosensors capable of probing protein structures and, therefore, able to detect disorders related to protein misfolding.

Such disorders range from Alzheimer's disease in humans to chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease in animals.

"In order to detect and treat many diseases we need to detect protein molecules at very small amounts and understand their structure," said Sang-Hyun Oh, lead researcher on the study, in a media statement. "Currently, there are many technical challenges with that process. We hope that our device using graphene and a unique manufacturing process will provide the fundamental research that can help overcome those challenges."

The gold+graphene-infused biosensors can detect the imbalance that causes behind Alzheimer's disease, chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease.

Oh explained that graphene, a high-quality form of graphite that 'evolves' into a material made of a single layer of carbon atoms, has already been used in biosensors. The problem has been that its remarkable single atom thickness does not interact efficiently with light when shined through it. Light absorption and conversion to local electric fields are essential for detecting small amounts of molecules when diagnosing diseases.

According to the scientist, previous research utilizing similar graphene nanostructures has only demonstrated a light absorption rate of less than 10%.

In their new study, however, the UMN researchers combined graphene with nano-sized metal ribbons of gold. Using sticky tape and a high-tech nanofabrication technique called “template stripping,” they were able to create an ultra-flat base layer surface for the graphene.

They then used the energy of light to generate a sloshing motion of electrons or plasmons in the graphene. "By shining light on the single-atom-thick graphene layer device, they were able to create a plasmon wave with unprecedented efficiency at a near-perfect 94 percent light absorption into 'tidal waves' of electric field. When they inserted protein molecules between the graphene and metal ribbons, they were able to harness enough energy to view single layers of protein molecules," the university's press release reads.

According to Oh, he and his team were surprised by the rate of light absorption, which matched almost perfectly their computer simulations.

The scientists are hopeful that this technique will greatly improve different devices used to detect disorders related to protein misfolding.

Tags:  Biosensors  Graphene  Sang-Hyun Oh  University of Minnesota 

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A quantum magnet with a topological twist

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Taking their name from an intricate Japanese basket pattern, kagome magnets are thought to have electronic properties that could be valuable for future quantum devices and applications. Theories predict that some electrons in these materials have exotic, so-called topological behaviors and others behave somewhat like graphene, another material prized for its potential for new types of electronics.

Now, an international team led by researchers at Princeton University has observed that some of the electrons in these magnets behave collectively, like an almost infinitely massive electron that is strangely magnetic, rather than like individual particles. The study was published in the journal Nature Physics this week.

The team also showed that placing the kagome magnet in a high magnetic field causes the direction of magnetism to reverse. This "negative magnetism" is akin to having a compass that points south instead of north, or a refrigerator magnet that suddenly refuses to stick.

"We have been searching for super-massive 'flat-band' electrons that can still conduct electricity for a long time, and finally we have found them," said M. Zahid Hasan, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University, who led the team. "In this system, we also found that due to an internal quantum phase effect, some electrons line up opposite to the magnetic field, producing negative magnetism."

The team explored how atoms arranged in a kagome pattern in a crystal give rise to strange electronic properties that can have real-world benefits, such as superconductivity, which allows electricity to flow without loss as heat, or magnetism that can be controlled at the quantum level for use in future electronics.

The researchers used state-of-the-art scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/S) to look at the behavior of electrons in a kagome-patterned crystal made from cobalt and tin, sandwiched between two layers of sulfur atoms, which are further sandwiched between two layers of tin.

In the kagome layer, the cobalt atoms form triangles around a hexagon with a tin atom in the center. This geometry forces the electrons into some uncomfortable positions -- leading this type of material to be called a "frustrated magnet."

To explore the electron behavior in this structure, the researchers nicked the top layers to reveal the kagome layer beneath.

They then used the STM/S technique to detect each electron's energy profile, or band structure. The band structure describes the range of energies an electron can have within a crystal, and explains, for example, why some materials conduct electricity and others are insulators. The researchers found that some of electrons in the kagome layer have a band structure that, rather than being curved as in most materials, is flat.

A flat band structure indicates that the electrons have an effective mass that is so large as to be almost infinite. In such a state, the particles act collectively rather than as individual particles.

Theories have long predicted that the kagome pattern would create a flat band structure, but this study is the first experimental detection of a flat band electron in such a system.

One of the general predictions that follows is that a material with a flat band may exhibit negative magnetism.

Indeed, in the current study, when the researchers applied a strong magnetic field, some of the kagome magnet's electrons pointed in the opposite direction.

"Whether the field was applied up or down, the electrons' energy flipped in the same direction, that was the first thing that was strange in terms of the experiments," said Songtian Sonia Zhang, a graduate student in physics and one of three co-first-authors on the paper.

"That puzzled us for about three months," said Jia-Xin Yin, a postdoctoral research associate and another co-first author on the study. "We were searching for the reason, and with our collaborators we realized that this was the first experimental evidence that this flat band peak in the kagome lattice has a negative magnetic moment."

The researchers found that the negative magnetism arises due to the relationship between the kagome flat band, a quantum phenomenon called spin-orbit coupling, magnetism and a quantum factor called the Berry curvature field. Spin-orbit coupling refers to a situation where an electron's spin, which itself is a quantum property of electrons, becomes linked to the electron's orbital rotation. The combination of spin-orbital coupling and the magnetic nature of the material leads all the electrons to behave in lock step, like a giant single particle.

Another intriguing behavior that arises from the tightly coupled spin-orbit interactions is the emergence of topological behaviors. The subject of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics, topological materials can have electrons that flow without resistance on their surfaces and are an active area of research. The cobalt-tin-sulfur material is an example of a topological system.

Two-dimensional patterned lattices can have other desirable types of electron conductance. For example, graphene is a pattern of carbon atoms that has generated considerable interest for its electronic applications over the past two decades. The kagome lattice's band structure gives rise to electrons that behave similarly to those in graphene.

Tags:  Graphene  M. Zahid Hasan  Princeton University  Songtian Sonia Zhang 

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Graphene Nanomaterials Unlocking New Possibilities

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Friday, March 8, 2019

Since the isolation of graphene in 2004 ( a single plane of sp2 carbon bonded atoms in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice), there has been a significant amount of research and application development work in academic and industrial organizations world-wide. 

Today, graphene is being produced and used in commercial quantities in a wide range of application areas, from  energy storage to construction materials. In fact, more than 40 discreet industries and applications are set to be disrupted by the extraordinary properties of a range of graphene materials.

Although the original definition of graphene is carbon as a single layer of atoms, commercial forms of graphene include; CVD Monolayer, Graphene Nano-platelets (GNPs), Graphene Oxide and various forms of functionalized graphene depending on the the intended application.

 

There are more than 200 companies world-wide that claim to produce graphene materials with new companies entering the sector every day.

The Graphene Council was founded in 2013 to represent the graphene community, including researchers, producers, application developers and end users. Today our community includes more than 20,000 material scientists and R&D professionals world-wide. 

We are actively working to support and advance the commercial adoption of graphene though the development of standards as members of the ISO/ANSI/IEC standards working groups as well as our quality control initiative,  the Verified Graphene Producers program which includes in-person inspections and testing of material at leading laboratories, like the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK,

The Graphene Council is also a founding Affiliate Member of the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Center (GEIC) at the University of Manchester. The GEIC allows for the rapid prototyping and testing of graphene enhanced products through the use of onsite industrial grade equipment and material characterization tools. 

If you are interested in learning how graphene can unlock new performance gains for your products or if you have new application ideas, contact us. 

Our global team of experts can help you identify the right partners and materials for your objectives. Contact us for more information. 

 

Graphene was first isolated at the 

University of Manchester in 2004 by 

Dr. Andre Geim and Dr. Konstantin Novoselov 

for which they received the 

Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.

 

Tags:  Andre Geim  graphene  Konstantin Novoselov  Nobel  the graphene council  The Graphene Flagship 

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Directed evolution builds nanoparticles

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, March 7, 2019
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2019

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to three scientists who developed the method that forever changed protein engineering: directed evolution. Mimicking natural evolution, directed evolution guides the synthesis of proteins with improved or new functions.

First, the original protein is mutated to create a collection of mutant protein variants. The protein variants that show improved or more desirable functions are selected. These selected proteins are then once more mutated to create another collection of protein variants for another round of selection. This cycle is repeated until a final, mutated protein is evolved with optimized performance compared to the original protein.

Now, scientists from the lab of Ardemis Boghossian at EPFL, have been able to use directed evolution to build not proteins, but synthetic nanoparticles (Chemical Communications, "Directed evolution of the optoelectronic properties of synthetic nanomaterials").

These nanoparticles are used as optical biosensors – tiny devices that use light to detect biological molecules in air, water, or blood. Optical biosensors are widely used in biological research, drug development, and medical diagnostics, such as real-time monitoring of insulin and glucose in diabetics.

“The beauty of directed evolution is that we can engineer a protein without even knowing how its structure is related to its function,” says Boghossian. “And we don't even have this information for the vast, vast majority of proteins.”

Her group used directed evolution to modify the optoelectronic properties of DNA-wrapped single-walled carbon nanotubes (or, DNA-SWCNTs, as they are abbreviated), which are nano-sized tubes of carbon atoms that resemble rolled up sheets of graphene covered by DNA. When they detect their target, the DNA-SWCNTs emit an optical signal that can penetrate through complex biological fluids, like blood or urine.

Using a directed evolution approach, Boghossian’s team was able to engineer new DNA-SWCNTs with optical signals that are increased by up to 56% – and they did it over only two evolution cycles.

“The majority of researchers in this field just screen large libraries of different materials in hopes of finding one with the properties they are looking for,” says Boghossian. “In optical nanosensors, we try to improve properties like selectivity, brightness, and sensitivity. By applying directed evolution, we provide researchers with a guided approach to engineering these nanosensors.”

The study shows that what is essentially a bioengineering technique can be used to more rationally tune the optoelectronic properties of certain nanomaterials.

Boghossian explains: “Fields like materials science and physics are mostly preoccupied with defining material structure-function relationships, making materials that lack this information difficult to engineer. But this is a problem that nature solved billions of years ago – and, in recent decades, biologists have tackled it as well. I think our study shows that as materials scientists and physicists, we can still learn a few pragmatic lessons from biologists.”

Tags:  Ardemis Boghossian  biosensors  DNA  EPFL  Graphene  nanomaterials  optoelectronics 

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Step right up for bigger 2D sheets

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, March 7, 2019
Rice University researchers determined complementarity between growing hexagonal boron nitride crystals and a stepped substrate mimics the complementarity found in strands of DNA. The Rice theory supports experiments that have produced large, oriented wafers.

Very small steps make a big difference to researchers who want to create large wafers of two-dimensional material. Atom-sized steps in a substrate provide the means for 2D crystals growing in a chemical vapor furnace to come together in perfect rank. Scientists have recently observed this phenomenon, and now a Rice University group has an idea why it works.

Rice materials theorist Boris Yakobson and researcher Ksenia Bets led the construction of simulations that show atom-sized steps on a growth surface, or substrate, have the remarkable ability to keep monolayer crystal islands in alignment as they grow. If the conditions are right, the islands join into a larger crystal without the grain boundaries so characteristic of 2D materials like graphene grown via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). That preserves their electronic perfection and characteristics, which differ depending on the material.

Atom-sized steps in a substrate provide the means for 2D crystals growing in a chemical vapor furnace to come together in perfect rank. Scientists have recently observed this phenomenon, and now a Rice University group has an idea why it works.

Rice materials theorist Boris Yakobson and researcher Ksenia Bets led the construction of simulations that show atom-sized steps on a growth surface, or substrate, have the remarkable ability to keep monolayer crystal islands in alignment as they grow.

If the conditions are right, the islands join into a larger crystal without the grain boundaries so characteristic of 2D materials like graphene grown via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). That preserves their electronic perfection and characteristics, which differ depending on the material.

The Rice theory appears in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.The investigation focused on hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), aka white graphene, a crystal often grown via CVD. Crystals nucleate at various places on a perfectly flat substrate material and not necessarily in alignment with each other.

However, recent experiments have demonstrated that growth on vicinal substrates -- surfaces that appear flat but actually have sparse, atomically small steps -- can align the crystals and help them merge into a single, uniform structure, as reported on arXiv. A co-author of that report and leader of the Korean team, Feng Ding, is an alumnus of the Yakobson lab and a current adjunct professor at Rice.

But the experimentalists do not show how it works as, Yakobson said, the steps are known to meander and be somewhat misaligned.

"I like to compare the mechanism to a 'digital filter,' here offered by the discrete nature of atomic lattices," he said. "The analog curve that, with its slopes, describes a meandering step is 'sampled and digitized' by the very grid of constituent atomic rows, breaking the curve into straight 1D-terrace segments. The slope doesn't help, but it doesn't hurt. Surprisingly, the match can be good; like a well-designed house on a hill, it stands straight.

"The theory is simple, though it took a lot of hard work to calculate and confirm the complementarity matching between the metal template and the h-BN, almost like for A-G-T-C pairs in strands of DNA," Yakobson said.

It was unclear why the crystals merged into one so well until simulations by Bets, with the help of co-author and Rice graduate student Nitant Gupta, showed how h-BN "islands" remain aligned while nucleating along visibly curved steps.

"A vicinal surface has steps that are slightly misaligned within the flat area," Bets said. "It has large terraces, but on occasion there will be one-atom-high steps. The trick by the experimentalists was to align these vicinal steps in one direction."

In chemical vapor deposition, a hot gas of the atoms that will form the material are flowed into the chamber, where they settle on the substrate and nucleate crystals. h-BN atoms on a vicinal surface prefer to settle in the crook of the steps.

"They have this nice corner where the atoms will have more neighbors, which makes them happier," Bets said. "They try to align to the steps and grow from there.

"But from a physics point of view, it's impossible to have a perfect, atomically flat step," she said. "Sooner or later, there will be small indentations, or kinks. We found that at the atomic scale, these kinks in the steps don't prevent h-BN from aligning if their dimensions are complementary to the h-BN structure. In fact, they help to ensure co-orientation of the islands."

Because the steps the Rice lab modeled are 1.27 angstroms deep (an angstrom is one-billionth of a meter), the growing crystals have little trouble surmounting the boundary. "Those steps are smaller than the bond distance between the atoms," Bets said. "If they were larger, like two angstroms or higher, it would be more of a natural barrier, so the parameters have to be adjusted carefully."

Two growing islands that approach each other zip together seamlessly, according to the simulations. Similarly, cracks that appear along steps easily heal because the bonds between the atoms are strong enough to overcome the small distance.

Any path toward large-scale growth of 2D materials is worth pursuing for an army of applications, according to the researchers. 2D materials like conductive graphene, insulating h-BN and semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides are all the focus of intense scrutiny by researchers around the world. The Rice researchers hope their theoretical models will point the way toward large crystals of many kinds.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supported the research. Computer resources were provided by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, supported by the DOE Office of Science, and the National Science Foundation-supported DAVinCI cluster at Rice, administered by the Center for Research Computing and procured in partnership with Rice's Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology.

Tags:  Boris Yakobson  CVD  Graphene  Ksenia Bets  Rice University  U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 

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First Graphene Presents at Graphene Automotive 2019 in Detroit

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, March 7, 2019
First Graphene's  Chief Technology Officer, Dr Andy Goodwin made a presentation at the Graphene Automotive 2019 conference and exhibition in Detroit on 4th and 5th March 2019. Andy was also invited to chair Day 1 of the conference. 

First Graphene provided an update on the measures that have been implemented to ensure the batch to batch quality of PureGRAPH™ products manufactured at Henderson, Western Australia. The Company also presented the latest information on the fundamental properties of PureGRAPH™ products underlining these are righty called graphene materials and also contained an update of progress in key applications. 

The new fundamental data indicates PureGRAPH™ is a low-defect, high aspect ratio graphene product with low metal and silicon contaminations levels. PureGRAPH™ has been shown by microscopy to contain high levels of Few Layer Graphene platelets. Raman analysis indicates the average platelet thickness is < 10 layers. 

One of the impediments to a more rapid commercialisation of graphene has been the inconsistency of quality material available for purchase. While many organisations state they can produce graphene, buyers have had issues with quality. Recognising this issue, FGR has gone to considerable lengths to ensure a high-quality product fit for delivery to industry.

"We continue to implement testing and monitoring tools that ensure the quality of PureGRAPH™ products for our customers” said Craig McGuckin, Managing Director First Graphene Ltd. “we will also continue to publish the more fundamental information on our products as this information becomes available from our ongoing collaborations with leading universities”. 

Tags:  Andy Goodwin  Craig McGuckin  First Graphene  Graphene  graphene platelets 

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Contract awarded to develop graphene ink-based heaters for gas pre-heating

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Haydale, is pleased to announce it will be collaborating with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and the Energy Innovation Centre, on a study to investigate the feasibility of developing a modern, innovative, fully compliant graphene-based preheat solution for use on gas operational sites.
 
The graphene solution has the potential to be more efficient and reliable than existing systems and has in-built flexibility to either retrofit onto existing pipes or to be built into new heat exchangers. Phase One of the 30-week project will see Haydale working directly with NGN, the gas distributer for the North East, Northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire.
 
Modern gas pre-heating systems, whilst more efficient than traditional Water Bath Heaters (WBHs), have larger electrical power requirements and require backup generators to remain operational in the event of a power cut. Maintaining gas supplies is of vital importance to the Gas Distribution Networks and as such, backup power is used to ensure that sites can remain operational should the electrical supply be interrupted.  
 
WBHs are gas-powered and use low voltage solenoids in their control, so can remain operational from the very low voltage (VLV) supply which is backed up by batteries on site. WBHs however can be considered inefficient both environmentally and in terms of heat transfer.
 
Development of graphene-based, high conductivity inks and coatings that can be applied to surfaces have the potential to provide even heating across large areas with a very thin profile. This technology is made possible by Haydale’s patented HDPlas process which promotes efficient dispersion of nanomaterials into polymers and carriers. 
 
With this innovative technology, flexible construction methods have the potential for several different solutions such as external fitment to existing pipes, internal fitment to existing pipes or integration into new replacement composite pipe sections which may include heat-exchanging internal surfaces. 
 
Should this initial feasibility project prove successful, future development stages will progress to field-based trials.
 
Dr Matthew Thornton, Senior Manager for Haydale Composite Solutions, said: “We are excited to be working with NGN and EIC to develop our graphene-based heater technology for use on the gas distribution network. The opportunity to demonstrate the feasibility of graphene-based heaters as a viable alternative to incumbent pre-heat systems presents a fantastic opportunity for Haydale in this innovative sector.”

Keith Broadbent, COO for Haydale, said: “This solution for the gas networks shows another commercial route for the functionalised graphene inks that are being produced by Haydale. We look forward to working with both Northern Gas Networks and the Energy Innovation Centre to progress this route to market.”
 
Gareth Payne, Project Manager for Northern Gas Networks, said: “I’m really excited to be leading this project on behalf of NGN, working with Haydale Composite Solutions and supported by the EIC. If this project proves successful, then we could be looking at a real game changer in terms of preheating systems that can be utilised on gas distribution sites. We hope this project will lead to collaborative working with other networks to develop the idea further, as NGN continues to explore low-carbon technologies in order to deliver a cleaner, greener future for customers.”

David Turner-Bennett, Gas Innovation Engineer for the Energy Innovation Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be facilitating this project with NGN and Haydale. This project has the potential to revolutionise pre-heating systems in the gas industry and demonstrates NGN’s commitment to securing a low-carbon future. It’s a pleasure to work with and support a ground-breaking project that involves people like Gareth and Matthew who are passionate about change. We hope to see other networks follow NGN’s lead and collaborate to develop this idea further.”

Tags:  Graphene  Haydale  Keith Broadbent  Matthew Thornton  nanomaterials  Northern Gas Networks 

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Prototype of future phone completed at University of Tartu

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Physicists at the University of Tartu have been working on a graphene-based sensor for the last five years. This sensor, to be integrated into mobile phones, will actively monitor toxic substances in the ambient air and recommend to the person carrying it to choose a safer route. The prototype has now been completed and was introduced to mobile phone manufacturers at a major event in Barcelona.

“Whereas earlier we were only able to test it in the laboratory, now we have the chance to test the technology in the real environment – outdoors,” said Raivo Jaaniso, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tartu. “There’s still a long way to go, and since we’re getting closer to our goal, the need for investment is increasing quite a lot.”

The World Mobile Congress, which was held in Barcelona from 25-28 February, is the largest fair in the world showcasing future technology. The aims of the researchers on the graphene project are to establish closer relations with mobile phone manufacturers on site and to continue development work. “Our next goal is to make a new prototype in which everything’s considerably smaller and from which it’ll be just one more step to the finished product,” explained Jaaniso. Among other things, long-term stability still needs to be thoroughly tested. According to Jaaniso, 30-40 people should test the device in daily use during the pilot project.

The sensor developed by the researchers at the University of Tartu differs from others available on the market in terms of its sensitivity. It also works successfully outside when the concentration of toxic substances is low, warning the person carrying it against, for example, vehicle exhaust emissions. “It works in more or less the same way as the human nose,” said Jaaniso.

The researchers at the University of Tartu are developing a graphene-based sensor within the framework of the pan-European research partnership project ‘Graphene Flagship’. With a budget of €1 billion, the project aims to develop graphene-based future technology solutions and brings together researchers from 23 countries. Besides the sensor the Estonians are working on, touch screens, superbatteries, smart clothes and 5G Internet hardware are also being developed.

Tags:  Graphene  Raivo Jaaniso  Sensors  University of Tartu 

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New method of synthesising nanographene on metal oxide surfaces

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Nanostructures based on carbon are promising materials for nanoelectronics.

However, to be suitable, they would often need to be formed on non-metallic surfaces, which has been a challenge – up to now. Researchers at FAU have found a method of forming nanographenes on metal oxide surfaces. Their research, conducted within the framework of collaborative research centre 953 – Synthetic Carbon Allotropes funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), has now been published in the journal Science.



Two-dimensional, flexible, tear-resistant, lightweight, and versatile are all properties that apply to graphene, which is often described as a miracle material. In addition, this carbon-based nanostructure has unique electrical properties that make it attractive for nanoelectronic applications. Depending on its size and shape, nanographene can be conductive or semi-conductive – properties that are essential for use in nanotransistors. Thanks to its good electrical and thermal conductivity, it could also replace copper (which is conductive) and silicon (which is semi-conductive) in future nanoprocessors.

Nanographene on metal oxides

The problem: In order to create an electronic circuit, the molecules of nanographene must be synthesised and assembled directly on an insulating or semi-conductive surface. Although metal oxides are the best materials for this purpose, in contrast to metal surfaces, direct synthesis of nanographenes on metal oxide surfaces is not possible as they are considerably less chemically reactive. The researchers would have to carry out the process at high temperatures, which would lead to several uncontrollable secondary reactions.

A team of scientists led by Dr. Konstantin Amsharov from the Chair of Organic Chemistry II have now developed a method of synthesising nanographenes on non-metallic surfaces, that is insulating surfaces or semi-conductors.

It’s all about the bond

The researchers’ method involves using a carbon fluorine bond, which is the strongest carbon bond. It is used to trigger a multilevel process. The desired nanographenes form like dominoes via cyclodehydrofluorination on the titanium oxide surface. All ‘missing’ carbon-carbon bonds are thus formed after each other in a formation that resembles a zip being closed.

This enables the researchers to create nanographenes on titanium oxide, a semi-conductor. This method also allows them to define the shape of the nanographene by modifying the arrangement of the preliminary molecules. New carbon-carbon bonds and, ultimately, nanographenes form where the researchers place the fluourine atoms.

For the first time, these research results demonstrate how carbon-based nanostructures can be manufactured by direct synthesis on the surfaces of technically-relevant semi-conducting or insulating surfaces. ‘This groundbreaking innovation offers effective and simple access to electronic nanocircuits that really work, which could scale down existing microelectronics to the nanometre scale,’ explains Dr. Amsharov.

Tags:  Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg  Graphene  Konstantin Amsharov  nanoelectronics  nanographene  Semiconductor 

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Genable® anti-corrosion technology gains further recognition

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Applied Graphene Materials, the producer of specialty graphene materials today announces that its breakthrough graphene technology Genable® 3000 has delivered outstanding anti-corrosion performance enhancement results that has led the business to be nominated for a key industry award.

Genable® is a unique metal-free additive that transforms coatings and paints enabling them to uniquely withstand aggressive corrosion in automotive, heavy industry and harsh marine environments. The results from over 3,000 hours of typical vigorous environment testing demonstrate the long-term structural resilience that AGM’s products provide against corrosion, establishing a new market standard.

The development re-affirms the Company’s compelling position and potential within the £8.1bn global coating markets and follows its recent announcement that James Briggs Limited, Europe’s largest consumer chemicals businesses, intends to bring a new range of aerosol automotive paint primers containing AGM graphene to market , setting new levels of corrosion protection in the aerosol automotive paint market.

Jim Miller, JBL’s Commercial Director commented:
"The 2 year development collaboration between JBL and AGM has resulted in our first products coming to fruition for the automotive market. Initial feedback from the market is very positive, with customers keen to see innovative products with genuine substantive performance improvements, which these products deliver through utilisation of AGM’s graphene dispersion technology.”

The momentum that AGM’s proprietary Genable® 3000 graphene technology has achieved has helped drive industry wide recognition of AGM’s expertise as an innovation leader in the coatings industry. Reflecting this, the Company has secured a nomination as a finalist in the Materials Performance Corrosion Innovation Awards 2019. The MP Corrosion Innovation Awards program acknowledges the leaders advancing understanding and development of global corrosion technology.  It is run in parallel with NACE International. Winners will be announced at the CORROSION conference 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Adrian Potts, CEO of Applied Graphene Materials commented:
“AGM’s technology is an exciting and first of its kind development for the global coatings industry. It will significantly increase the lifespan of metals in harsh environments, ensuring very attractive cost advantages for customers.  As we create new standards across the market, we are delighted to have been nominated as a Finalist for the 2019 Corrosion Industry Innovation Award, recognising our ground-breaking Genable® 3000 technology.  Our recent success with UK paint producer James Briggs and 3,000-hour trials are hugely positive and highlight our potential to bring innovation to many different industries and markets.”

Tags:  Adrian Potts  Applied Graphene Materials  Corrosion  Graphene  James Briggs  Jim Miller 

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Gratomic Submits Mining License Application

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, March 4, 2019

Gratomic Inc. today announced that it has submitted a full mining license application to the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The company has submitted its application for Mining License 215 (M L215). The License area falls within the proximity of the Aukam Processing Plant and the Graphite bearing shear zone for a total of 5002 hectares (5002 ha). The mining license was the last step required for the company to go into full production. The license submission is timed strategically with the construction of Gratomic's onsite processing plant located at the Aukam Graphite Mine in Namibia and in conjunction with the recently announced long-term Graphene supply agreement with Vittoria Tires and Gratomic's partner Perpetuus Advanced Materials.

Gratomic’s CO-CEO Arno Brand stated, “This marks a significant milestone in the company’s  path to commercializing its Aukam Graphite mine, through this submission of our mining license we are now able to start producing graphite from our Aukam Graphite mine at full capacity”

Tags:  Arno Brand  Graphene  Graphite  Gratomic  Perpetuus Advanced Materials  Vittoria 

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NIOSH initiates study to assess occupational exposures to graphene and other Two-Dimensional nanomaterials

Posted By Terrance Barkan, Monday, March 4, 2019

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has a mission to develop new knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health.

 

NIOSH is initiating a study, with the assistance of The Graphene Council, to assess occupational exposures to graphene and other Two-Dimensional nanomaterials in commercial and industrial applications within the United States.

 

Our findings will help inform interested parties on what a representative workplace exposure currently is for these materials and establish consensus air sampling methods that can be adopted by industry and used to improve workers’ short and long-term health outcomes.

 

NIOSH is inviting companies operating within the United States to participate in this research opportunity. Exposure sampling will occur over three to four sequential days at your convenience. Workers will wear personal air sampling pumps to assess exposures within their breathing zones. Multiple processes and locations will be assessed in this way to provide a facility-wide exposure assessment.

 

For participating, your company will receive a thorough industrial hygiene report. This includes exposure characterization for all employees and sampled processes as well as recommendations for controls and methods to reduce exposures specific to your company.

 

Matthew Dahm, PhD, MPH is an industrial hygienist and is the principle investigator of this study. Seth McCormick, MPH is an industrial hygienist who will be serving as the main point of contact for those interested in participating. Please review the attached introductory letter, factsheet, and short biographies at your convenience.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the study or participating, please contact Seth by phone or email at 513-841-4575 or SMcCormick@cdc.gov. We look forward to working with you to ensure the safest possible work environment for your employees.

 

Matthew M. Dahm, PhD, MPH                                                          Seth McCormick, MPH

Research Industrial Hygienist                                                             Research Industrial Hygienist

1090 Tusculum Ave, MS-R14                                                            1090 Tusculum Ave, MS-R14

Cincinnati, OH 45226                                                                         Cincinnati, OH 45226

 

Phone: 513-458-7136                                                                         Phone: 513-841-4575

Email: mdahm@cdc.gov                                                                    Email: SMcCormick@cdc.gov

 

Introductory Letter         Fact Sheet          Bios 

Tags:  Exposure  Graphene  Health and Safety  HSE  NIOSH 

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The European Union Innovation Radar selects one technology developed in the framework of a EU project led by ICMAB

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, March 4, 2019
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2019

A technology developed by a team led by Dr. Núria Crivillers, researcher at the Nanomol Group at ICMAB, has been selected as a high potential innovation by the European Union (EU).


The EU has recently launched the Innovation Radar tool, an initiative to identify high potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research and to increase their visibility through the Innovation Radar website, making them available to potential users and to the society. 

The innovation was developed in the framework of the FP7 project “Electrical spin manipulation in electroactive molecules” (ACMOL).

The TU-Delft partner, Dr. Burzurí and his team, advanced in a “New pre-patterning method toicate constrictions in graphene flakes”. It consists in a new approach to fabricate narrow bridges in graphene layers in order to facilitate the creation of a localized nano-gap by electroburning, and therefore nanometer-spaced graphene electrodes.

Before creating the small space between the two graphene layers, the geometry is enhanced by creating a “bow-tie-shaped” bridge using lithography techniques. This narrow bridge will improve the electroburning step, which creates the nano-gap. A single molecule can be trapped in this small space, allowing the measure of electron transport across the graphene electrodes.


This innovation is faster and more cost-effective compared with other technologies: hundreds of devices can be prepared in one single step from commercially grown graphene. This innovation opens the door to the fabrication of chips based on graphene electrodes.

Tags:  Graphene  ICMAB  Núria Crivillers 

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Graphene-alumina heterostructures show their strength

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, March 4, 2019
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2019

Heterostructures of graphene and other 2D or ultrathin materials have potential applications in sensing, electronics, and battery technology. For example, graphene transistors encapsulated with alumina (Al2O3) are of interest for flexible electronics, and graphene/metal oxide heterostructures are widely used in lithium ion batteries.

The mechanical strength, properties and stability of these structures is important for applications that make use of flexibility, or for applications that put to test the mechanical robustness of the materials, such as in high-performance electrochemical cells. Nevertheless, the mechanical properties of graphene heterostructures have not been widely and carefully investigated.



Now, an international team from the US, Germany and Spain have performed careful tests of graphene/alumina heterostructures for varying thickness of the alumina layer. The research revealed that graphene enhances the stiffness (Young’s modulus) compared to bare alumina, and that the alumina film strengthens the resistance of graphene to fracture under load. These findings indicate that such heterostructures have good mechanical strength and can thus be utilized in many devices. The measured values of stiffness and breaking strength add to the expanding body of knowledge of mechanical properties of graphene-related materials.

The method presented in the paper, published in the journal Nanotechnology, blends state-of-the-art fabrication, characterization, and calculation. The basis of the heterostructures is graphene on TEM grids, a single atomic layer of graphene deposited on a grid of circular holes. The monolayer graphene is thus suspended over the holes, making membranes with a diameter of two micrometers.

Alumina is deposited on top of the graphene with atomic layer deposition (ALD), with thickness ranging from 1.5nm to 4.5nm. The mechanical properties are tested with atomic force microscopy, by landing an extremely sharp tip on top of the membrane, pushing on the membrane and studying the deflection. In strength tests, the membrane is pushed until it ruptures under load. The resulting force-distance curves are compared to results of finite element numerical calculations, yielding a quantitative measure of the mechanical properties.

The calculations further revealed a nonintuitive shear stress distribution which indicates a maximum shear away from the line of symmetry and closer to the point of contact of diamond tip and the film, which is a key finding for reliable mechanical performance of the composite devices.

Additionally, these findings illustrate the versatility of ALD techniques for use in heterostructure fabrication, and ease of implementation of graphene into thin-film hybrid structures in order to take advantage of its superior mechanical properties.

Tags:  Battery  Graphene  Li-ion batteries  Sensors 

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Versarien PLC - Appointment of BEIS Secondee

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, February 28, 2019
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2019

Versarien plc has announced that Yi Luo is joining Versarien on secondment from the UK Government's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as Deputy Head of International Strategy and Government Relations. Yi will replace Peter Jay who is returning to the Department for International Trade to take up a new senior role.

Yi will be focussed on progressing the Company's international expansion, particularly in China, working alongside Matt Walker who has been on secondment to Versarien from the DIT since May 2018.

Yi read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, majoring in chemistry, and is completing her PhD in organic chemistry at University College London, alongside her work for the UK Government.  Her previous roles in Government have included working with the DIT's London and Devolved Administrations teams, where she provided analytical insights to help achieve foreign direct investment targets. 

Following this, she was a Private Secretary for ex-BEIS Minister Lord Prior, covering technology, rail and materials.  Her most recent role was as a Senior Policy Adviser for the BEIS Future Sectors team, where she led the team's international portfolio, pushing forward the Government's robotics and drones agenda, and was responsible for publishing the artificial intelligence sector deal as part of the Government's industrial strategy to put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data-driven economy.

Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien, commented: "I would like to thank Peter for his significant contribution to Versarien over the last six months, particularly in relation to the development of our business in China.  During that period we have made substantial progress in China through entering into partnerships with a number of leading manufacturers across a variety of sectors, together with securing formal relationships with Chinese provincial government bodies.

"I look forward to Versarien benefiting from Yi's skills and experience to help further progress both our existing Chinese relationships and others that we are discussing.  I would again like to thank the BEIS and DIT for their support and I am confident that Versarien's plans in China and globally will contribute to DIT's goal of ensuring there is an economic benefit to the UK from our overseas activities."

Tags:  Graphene  Neill Ricketts  Versarien  Yi Luo 

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James Briggs to launch graphene enhanced Hycote range using AGM's material

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, February 28, 2019

James Briggs have successfully completed their Graphene products first production batch, which is a significant milestone on the path to commercial realisation.

Extensive testing has demonstrated repeated and outstanding improvements in anti-corrosion performance for their automotive aerosol primer. JBL plan to launch the new range of graphene enhanced anti-corrosion aerosols under their Hycote brand.


Graphene is a single atom layer of graphite. Its ability to form hexagonal lattice structure gives it exceptional properties in terms of strength, electricity and heat conduction.

These single atom lattice structures can stack to form layers. In coatings this lattice structure gives excellent barrier properties and in the case of our specially formulated primer, this results in excellent salt spray resistance and therefore give superior anti-corrosive performance when compared to a similar product without graphene.

Applied Graphene Materials is the supplier off graphene to James Briggs for this product. 

Tags:  Applied Graphene Materials  Graphene  Graphite  James Briggs 

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Vittoria #1 Graphene User in Bike Industry; Launches 2nd Generation Graphene Tyres

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, February 28, 2019

With the aim to always push the boundaries of what is possible, Vittoria succeeded in the development of a new generation of Graphene: GRAPHENE 2.0. Vittoria today announced the introduction of its 2nd generation Graphene tyres. GRAPHENE 2.0 (G 2.0) takes the original Graphene compound foundation that Vittoria built, and functionalizes the advancements in performance, for each specific application.
President and founder of Vittoria Industries Rudie Campagne said “With the aim to push the boundaries continuously, we succeeded in the development of a new generation of Graphene tyres”.
Unlike the first-generation graphene, the new 2.0 graphene is functionalized to enhance specific tire performances.  In other words, where the first generation of graphene compounds raised the bar evenly, Graphene 2.0 pin-points each performance metric, and increases it disproportionally to the rest. Vittoria is now able to apply Graphene in such a way that it can achieve a performance boost specifically for speed, wet grip, durability and puncture resistance.

Every year, tons of Graphene are applied to Vittoria tires and wheels. Graphene interacts with rubber by filling the space in between the rubber molecules, which has been verified to increase all positive performance metrics. In 2018 Vittoria tires won every single Grand Tour time trial (ITT and TTT), as well as European, French, German, Austrian, Russian, Brazilian, and Pan-American Cross-Country championships.

See related story: Vittoria and Perpetuus sign long term supply contract. 

Tags:  Graphene  Perpetuus  Rudie Campagne  Tires  Vittoria Industries 

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Perpetuus Advanced Materials announces execution of long-term supply agreement with Vittoria Tires

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, February 28, 2019

Perpetuus Advanced Materials are pleased to announce the execution of a long-term supply agreement for functionalised hybrid surface modified graphenes with Vittoria Tires.



After 18 months of close collaboration between Perpetuus and Vittoria scientists, development work along with extensive laboratory to terrain testing has been completed on the first commercial elastomer to contain hybrid graphene fillers for the tire industry.

A new standard for nano surface engineered graphenes for cycle tires has now been established. This next generation graphene technology enables Vittoria to offer its customers tires that are superior to allothers within the cycle tire market. Vittoria’s Generation II range of tires are currently “on the road”and have now been officially launched in a Bangkok based event on the 25th of February 2019.

Perpetuus Director Ian Walters stated, “It’s been a pleasure working in the professional environment offered within the Vittoria Advanced Tire Development Facility, with a team of scientists and technicians who have established genuine know-how regarding the inclusion of graphenes into elastomeric tire compounds. Perpetuus are looking forward to launching further products in tire and other fields later this year and early 2020”.

A combination of the Perpetuus nano surface modified graphenes technology and Vittoria’s world class knowledge in the field of bicycle tires, has resulted in a range of tires that are as good as or better than any competitive product. At last graphene as broken through into the mass market and established the first real world commercial application.

Stefan Anton, Vittoria’s Product Director stated, “Vittoria remain one step ahead in the respect of bicycle tire development and enjoyed working with the Perpetuusteam in exploiting their patented nano surface engineering technology,creating a new best in class generation of graphene enhanced cycle tires”.

See related story: Vittoria Bike Tires and Graphene

 

Tags:  Graphene  Ian Walters  Perpetuus Advanced Materiarials  Stefan Anton  Tires  Vittoria 

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SOLAR-POWERED SUPERCAPACITORS COULD CREATE FLEXIBLE, WEARABLE ELECTRONICS

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2019
A breakthrough in energy storage technology could bring a new generation of flexible electronic devices to life, including solar-powered prosthetics for amputees.

In a new paper published in the journal Advanced Science, a team of engineers from the University of Glasgow discuss how they have used layers of graphene and polyurethane to create a flexible supercapacitor which can generate power from the sun and store excess energy for later use.

They demonstrate the effectiveness of their new material by powering a series of devices, including a string of 84 power-hungry LEDs and the high-torque motors in a prosthetic hand, allowing it to grasp a series of objects.

The research towards energy autonomous e-skin and wearables is the latest development from the University of Glasgow’s Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies (BEST) research group, led by Professor Ravinder Dahiya.

The top touch sensitive layer developed by the BEST group researchers is made from graphene, a highly flexible, transparent ‘super-material’ form of carbon layers just one atom thick.

Sunlight which passes through the top layer of graphene is used to generate power via a layer of flexible photovoltaic cells below. Any surplus power is stored in a newly-developed supercapacitor, made from a graphite-polyurethane composite.

The team worked to develop a ratio of graphite to polyurethane which provides a relatively large, electroactive surface area where power-generating chemical reactions can take place, creating an energy-dense flexible supercapacitor which can be charged and discharged very quickly.

Similar supercapacitors developed previously have delivered voltages of one volt or less, making single supercapacitors largely unsuited for powering many electronic devices. The team’s new supercapacitor can deliver 2.5 volts, making it more suited for many common applications.

In laboratory tests, the supercapacitor has been powered, discharged and powered again 15,000 times with no significant loss in its ability to store the power it generates.

Professor Ravinder Dahiya, Professor of Electronics and Nanoengineering at the University of Glasgow’s School of Engineering, who led this research said: “This is the latest development in a string of successes we’ve had in creating flexible, graphene based devices which are capable of powering themselves from sunlight.

“Our previous generation of flexible e-skin needed around 20 nanowatts per square centimetre for its operation, which is so low that we were getting surplus energy even with the lowest-quality photovoltaic cells on the market.

“We were keen to see what we could do to capture that extra energy and store it for use at a later time, but we weren’t satisfied with current types of energy storages devices such as batteries to do the job, as they are often heavy, non-flexible, prone to getting hot, and slow to charge.

“Our new flexible supercapacitor, which is made from inexpensive materials, takes us some distance towards our ultimate goal of creating entirely self-sufficient flexible, solar-powered devices which can store the power they generate.

“There’s huge potential for devices such as prosthetics, wearable health monitors, and electric vehicles which incorporate this technology, and we’re keen to continue refining and improving the breakthroughs we’ve made already in this field.”

The team’s paper, titled ‘Graphene-Graphite Polyurethane Composites based High-Energy Density Flexible Supercapacitors’, is published in Advanced Science. The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Tags:  energy storage  Graphene  Ravinder Dahiya  University of Glasgow 

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The European FET Flagship Fleet Showcase at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, February 26, 2019
In 2016, the Mobile World Congress' Graphene Flagship opened a window for the 100.000+ visitors to learn and interact with the most disruptive graphene-based technologies developed in Europe. Now in its 4th edition, the Graphene Pavilion demonstrates how graphene enables a whole new connectivity approach thanks to its unique properties, from the single connected device to a mesh network of embedded processors, sensors and communication hardware that conform the Internet of Things ecosystem. In addition, visitors can virtually walk through the production process of the material itself, providing evidence about how these materials are being produced at large scale, and at low cost.

In this edition, MWC19 intends on boosting the disruptive technologies available in the NexTech Hall. Coming into the game as a new player, the recently launched Quantum Flagship makes its official presentation at MWC19, bringing to the audience a grasp of quantum technologies that aim to radically improve the telecommunications arena. In this singular space, the Quantum Flagship will tell visitors about the trends in quantum communications, including a prototype of a quantum random number generator chip provided by the company Quside, a partner of the flagship.

With a life span of 10 years and a budget of at least EUR 1 billion each, FET Flagships are the among the most ambitious research projects funded by the European Commission. The Graphene and Quantum flagships have the common goal of taking and transferring the discoveries and research from the lab to the market into commercial applications that will help create the next generation of disruptive technologies, searching to position Europe as a worldwide knowledge-based industrial and technological leader in both innovative fields.

"The Graphene Pavilion is a great opportunity for us to display the latest results of graphene-based technologies to a broad range of decision makers and to meet with industry on their own turf" comments Prof. Jari Kinaret, director of the Graphene Flagship. "Events like the Mobile World Congress are of increasing importance to the Graphene Flagship as we move to higher technology readiness levels and get closer to the market."

Prof. Tommaso Calarco, from the Institute for Quantum Control of Forschungszentrum Jülich and coordinator of the Quantum Coordination and Support Action in charge of successfully launching the Quantum Flagship mentions, "We are really excited for this opportunity to be present at MWC19 - an opportunity for us to reach out to a very broad audience. Quantum technologies are receiving increasing attention worldwide, both from big companies and from the general public, and we are going to do our best to make this emerging field as accessible and understandable for everyone as we can."

Tags:  Graphene  Institute for Quantum Control of Forschungszentrum  Jari Kinaret  The Graphene Flagship  Tommaso Calarco 

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Carbon nanotubes can be produced in a new way by twisting ribbon-like graphene

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, February 25, 2019
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2019
The properties of folded, bent and twisted graphene at nanoscale are difficult to study theoretically and experimentally. In his dissertation, however, Oleg Kit utilized symmetry, a time-worn concept of theoretical physics, to develop an effective method to run computer experiments on nanostructures under complex deformations.

The new method allows explorations of folding, bending and twisting in more diverse ways than previously. Information about nanostructure properties is obtained by modeling only a few atoms, instead of simulating the whole structures. As the research utilized the laws of quantum mechanics, the method provided also information about changes in the electronic structure of graphene.

The advantage of the technique is that it makes possible studies of structures with millions of atoms that lack traditional symmetries. It enabled simulations which predict that carbon nanotubes can be made by twisting graphene.

Tags:  Carbon Nanotubes  Graphene  Oleg Kit  University of Jyväskylä 

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Grolltex Drives Dramatic Increase of Single Layer CVD Graphene Production

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, February 25, 2019
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2019

Graphene and 2D materials producer,Grolltex has completed its recent capacity expansion and released production for 30,000 eight-inch wafer equivalents per year at its CVD monolayer fabrication facility in San Diego, California. This ‘single atomic layer’ type of graphene is used in advanced electronics and other nano-devices and supports many use cases in wearables, IoT, photonics, semiconductors, biosensing and other next generation devices.

“This is the only commercial CVD monolayergraphene production facility in California and in fact it is the largest capacity plant of its kind in the U.S.”, said CEO, Jeff Draa. “Demand for our electronics grade graphene has never been better.  Our production lines are capable of producing single layer graphene or single layer hexagonal Boron Nitride”.
Otherwise known as ‘white graphene’, hexagonal Boron Nitride (or ‘hBN’) is the single atom thick insulator complement to graphene, which is a conductor.  The material hBN also has many other interesting characteristics, including being highly transparent, very strong, possesses anti-microbial and flame-retardantproperties and is additionally a performance accelerator for graphene.  The Grolltex factory expansion supports the growth, production and transfer of both of thesesingle layer materials.

“Maybe even more exciting, we currently have four active evaluations where our customers’advanced nano-factories are testing our graphene for use as the basis for their final devices and each factory eval is going very well”, said Draa.  “The biosensing area is an early adopter for our graphene, as evidenced by customers using our material to detect DNA, find diseases in blood, monitor glucose in sweat in the form of a wearable patch and validating the safety and efficacy of new drugs in previously unthinkably short times and low costs.”

Grolltex, short for ‘graphene-rolling-technologies’, makes large area, single atom thick graphene sheets using chemical vapor deposition or ‘CVD’; essentially the process is depositing gas in a chamber, then allowing it to cool, which leaves a continuous one atom thick layer of carbon on a target substrate.  This type of graphene is highly valued for its electrical characteristics, strength and flexibility and some see it as‘next generation silicon’.

The company uses patented research and techniques initially developed at the University of California, San Diego, to produce high quality, single layer graphene, hexagonal Boron Nitride and other 2D materials and products.  The company is a practitioner of, and specializes in, exclusively sustainable graphene production methods and is committed to advancing the field of graphene to improve the future of leading-edge materials science and product design through the optimization of single atom thick materials.

Tags:  Biosensor  CVD  Graphene  Grolltex  Jeff Draa  Sensors 

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THE SECRET LIFE OF BATTERIES

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Friday, February 22, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2019

Koffi Pierre Yao, a new assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware, is uncovering novel insights about what happens inside the batteries that power our smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. He plans to use this knowledge to develop faster-charging batteries that make electric vehicles the go-to automobiles for drivers.

Several of today’s electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf, run on lithium-ion batteries. But it takes inconveniently too long to recharge those vehicles when you can fill up your gas tank in the time it takes to pick up gas-station coffee. In a lithium-ion battery, positively charged lithium ions move through the electrode to deliver energy.

Scientists all over the world do time-consuming research on lithium-ion batteries in an attempt to optimize these power units. “Usually people will make an electrode, test it, make another one, test it, and so on, and it’s kind of a serial process,” said Yao.

Instead, Yao uses physical probes to look inside batteries while they work and develop a direct physical understanding of how lithium ions flow within batteries. When a battery is charging, the lithium flows unevenly in a way that’s difficult to measure. Yao started working on this while he was a postdoctoral associate at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), a position he held from 2016 until 2018, when he joined UD’s faculty.

In a new paper published in Energy & Environmental Science, a journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Yao describes how he and his colleagues at ANL used X-rays to get a micron-scale movie of how lithium distributes within the electrode while lithium-ion batteries are running.

“We put an industrial-grade battery under an X-ray beam and mapped the distribution of the lithium within the electrodes,” he said.



Yao and his colleagues knew that the lithium did not distribute homogeneously. Imagine a group of people running through a small doorway. It takes time for people to spread out into the interior of the room; therefore, there will be crowding at the entry point. That’s similar to how lithium moves through the electrode. Still, Yao and his colleagues were surprised at the extent to which lithium scattered inhomogeneously.

The goal is to use this knowledge to reduce testing time and speed up the research and development (R&D) process for these batteries.

In another new paper published in Advanced Energy Materials, Yao describes how he and his colleagues used X-rays to quantify the activity in a silicon-graphite electrode. Cell phone batteries typically contain graphite, but silicon offers some potential benefits over graphite.

“We’re interested in silicon because it can increase the capacity of the electrode by a factor of 10 compared to graphite,” he said. However, silicon is less stable than graphite and degrades faster, so a blend of the two may prove to be a viable solution. “Some of the lithium goes into the graphite, and some goes into the silicon,” he said.

Yao and his colleagues sought to discover exactly where the lithium ions traveled within this blended electrode.

“It’s something people haven’t previously been able to do in the literature,” Yao said. “We provide a clear picture of which of silicon and graphite plays host to lithium at any point in time. Now we can go forward and manipulate this pattern to stabilize the cycling.” This knowledge can help Yao in his quest to design novel particles to make faster-charging and higher energy batteries.

At UD, Yao plans to expand upon his research on batteries with his colleagues at the Center for Fuel Cells and Batteries and more. Yao received his master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at UD. As an undergraduate at UD, he was mentored by Ajay Prasad, Engineering Alumni Distinguished Professor and Chair of Engineering, who introduced him to electric cars and electrochemistry, and the science behind them.

Tags:  Batteries  Graphene  Koffi Pierre Yao  Li-ion Batteries  Lithium  University of Delaware 

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