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Paragraf and NPL Demonstrate that Paragraf’s Graphene Hall Effect Sensors are ready for High-radiation Applications in Space and Beyond

Posted By Graphene Council, 22 hours ago
Paragraf, the leader in graphene-based transformative electronic sensors and devices, has demonstrated the ability of its graphene Hall Effect sensors to withstand high levels of radiation. The discovery, based on testing from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), proves that ‘unpackaged’ Hall Effect sensors can be used in high-radiation environments such as space. The project was funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

Used to measure the magnitude of magnetic fields, Hall Effect sensors are a critical electronic component in a variety of applications, from proximity sensing and speed detection through to current sensing. However, historically, their deployment in high-radiation environments such as satellites and nuclear power plants has faced significant challenges. This is because conventional sensors made from silicon and other semiconductor materials react adversely to neutron radiation, unless they are encapsulated in radiation-hardened packaging. This entails a more complex, lengthy, and costly manufacturing process and may require the sensor to be replaced over time if, for example, the packaging is damaged.

By contrast, tests conducted by NPL have shown that following exposure to a neutron dose of 241 mSv/hour – which is about 30,000 times the expected typical neutron dose rate in the International Space Station – Paragraf graphene Hall Effect sensors are not affected by this level of radiation. This is the first time that a commercially available, graphene-based electronic device has proved impervious to neutron irradiation.

In situations where power and weight savings are as critical as radiation tolerance, for example on satellites and other space vehicles, Paragraf Hall Effect sensors really come into their own – requiring only pW’s of power and weighing only fractions of a gram.

Ivor Guiney, co-founder of Paragraf, commented: “NPL’s findings have the potential to be a game changer when it comes to high-performance satellites and other critical high-radiation applications such as nuclear decommissioning. Owing to the exceptional mechanical strength and high transparency of graphene, our Hall Effect sensor can be used reliably in high-radiation applications without requiring packaging. This is key to improving reliability and durability while reducing manufacturing costs and time to market.”

The ability of graphene Hall Effect sensors to perform under high-radiation conditions will pave the way for the deployment of a broader range of electronics in harsh environments. Thanks to Paragraf’s scalable manufacturing process for large-area graphene deposition, it may soon be possible to produce other radiation-resistant graphene-based electronic devices. This will help ensure that all critical electronics, beyond sensors, are reliable and durable even in harsh environments.

Héctor Corte-Leon at NPL added: “Our first set of findings is very promising, and we are now expecting more positive outcomes over the next few months. Testing graphene-based electronics is key to demonstrating whether they can be used in harsh environments where, traditionally, their deployment has been limited.”

Graphene Hall Effect sensors from Paragraf are now set to undergo further radiation testing (alpha, beta and gamma radiation) as well as high-frequency testing. This is expected to open-up new opportunities across critical applications such as current sensing. The project, funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, started in October 2019, and is due to run until the end of 2020.

Tags:  Electronics  Graphene  Héctor Corte-Leon  Innovate UK  Ivor Guiney  National Physical Laboratory  Paragraf  Sensors 

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Laser used to transfer graphene for tech applications

Posted By Graphene Council, 22 hours ago
Laser has been used to cut to shape and deposit graphene on a target substrate in a single step process, potentially lowering device fabrication time and cost. Graphene patches with diameters as small as 30 micrometers were transferred onto technologically relevant substrates.

The preferred method for production of large-area graphene is chemical vapour deposition (CVD), which allows roll-to-roll scalable production of good quality material. CVD is widely used to create graphene films and devices for industrial and research applications. The CVD process is most commonly restricted to growth on catalytic substrates, such as thin copper films.

In order to produce finished devices, such as field effect transistors, graphene needs to be transferred onto a technologically usable substrate, most commonly a silicon or silica wafer. The common methods of transferring graphene involve polymer intermediary overlayers, application of lithographic masking layers and chemical etching, steps that increase process complexity and reduce the quality of the pristine graphene. Laser-induced localized transfer bypasses all these steps, simplifying device fabrication.

Laser-induced transfer utilizes high power femtosecond laser pulses to “peel” graphene off a substrate. A possible explanation for the underlying physical mechanism is thermal expansion of the substrate, in this case nickel metal, which leads to a rupture of the graphene sheet at the edges of the laser-illuminated area. The research team, joining forces from the UK, Greece, Spain and Israel, having published their results in the journal Applied Surface Science, believes that laser transfer has the potential to eliminate many time-consuming lithographic processing steps, allowing precise, direct application of 2D materials with complex shapes to specific locations on a device, although they acknowledge that the process should be further refined to improve on the quality of the transferred material.

Tags:  2D materials  chemical vapour deposition  CVD  Graphene  Graphenea 

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Soil check: How much water does your soil contain?

Posted By Graphene Council, 22 hours ago
Researchers use ultra-small graphene particles to develop a new soil moisture sensor. Anyone who has tried their hand at growing plants, be it an amateur gardener or a seasoned farmer, would be familiar with the perils of under- or over-watering a sapling. Plants require the right amount of water for their healthy growth, and to figure out when and how much to water one has to know the existing moisture levels in the soil. When it comes to keeping track of the watering schedule for a large number of plants, such as for a field of crops, there is a need for an affordable, easy-to-use soil moisture sensor that can accurately measure the water content in the soil. 

A recent study, published in the journal Carbon, demonstrates the workings of a soil moisture sensor made from graphene quantum dots, which are nanometer-sized fragments of graphene. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay), Gauhati University, and Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar. It was funded by the Department of Science and Technology, the University Grants Commission and the Assam Science Technology and Environmental Council.

Graphene is made up of a sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern. Over the years, studies have explored the use of graphene quantum dots — disc-shaped materials made of a few layers of graphene, measuring mere nanometers — for a variety of sensing applications. While extensive research is being carried out on the synthesis of graphene quantum dots, the challenge remains in designing a method that results in a good yield of uniformly-sized particles. Additionally, the process must be scalable and easily adaptable for its  commercialisation.

“Our motivations behind this study was to devise a simple, inexpensive and scalable approach for synthesising graphene quantum dots, and to develop an affordable soil moisture sensor that is suitable for large scale use,” says Prof Hemen Kalita, who is the lead author of this study. He is an Assistant Professor at the Gauhati University and previously was a doctoral student with Prof M Aslam at IIT Bombay. 

The researchers have proposed a method to produce graphene quantum dots as small as 3–5 nanometre from easily available and low-cost graphene oxide. They coated a thin film of graphene oxide onto a carbon electrode and placed it inside an electrolyte solution. When an electric current is applied to the setup, the carbon bonds in the graphene oxide get cleaved, and molecules of the electrolyte occupy those gaps in the graphene oxide layer. Eventually, they form quantum dots of graphene having oxygen-containing chemical groups. 

“At a laboratory scale, we were successful in synthesising graphene quantum dots through our novel approach, and we have filed a patent for the synthesis method,” says Prof Kalita. 

Using the graphene quantum dots, the researchers fabricated a soil moisture sensor which is smaller in size than a lentil seed. The moisture content value displayed by the sensor depends on the resistance measured across it, and with an increasing percentage of water content, there is a fall in resistance. When the sensor is inserted into moist soil, the oxygen atoms present in the graphene quantum dots interact with the hydrogen atoms of the water and form a layer of water molecules on the surface of the sensor. When an external voltage is applied to the sensor via a source meter, the loosely held water molecules in the upper layers get ionised and conduct electrical charge. This leads to a decrease in resistance of the sensor.  

The researchers tested the soil moisture sensors on samples of black and red soil. They found that the moisture content measured by the sensor closely matched the known water content of the soil samples. The sensor gives the final reading within 3 minutes and can be used again after 20 seconds.  

Further, the researchers tested the stability of the sensor by continuously using it over five months to measure the water content in soil samples. They found that the sensor gives a consistent reading throughout this time and works well for a range of soil water levels.  

“With extensive field testing and improved packaging, our sensors will be suitable for commercialisation. A few companies have approached us and initiated discussions with our team to take this project to the industry front,” says Prof Kalita. “We are aiming to develop stable and affordable sensors for the middle-class farmer community,” he signs off. 

Tags:  Gauhati University  Graphene  graphene oxide  Hemen Kalita  Sensors 

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Going with the flow for water purification

Posted By Graphene Council, 22 hours ago
Membrane separations have become critical to human existence, with no better example than water purification. As water scarcity becomes more common and communities start running out of cheap available water, they need to supplement their supplies with desalinated water from seawater and brackish water sources.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have created carbon nanotube (CNT) pores that are so efficient at removing salt from water that they are comparable to commercial desalination membranes. These tiny pores are just 0.8 nanometers (nm) in diameter. In comparison, a human hair is 60,000 nm across. The research appears on the cover of the Sept. 18 issue of the journal Science Advances.

The dominant technology for removing salt from water, reverse osmosis, uses thin-film composite (TFC) membranes to separate water from the ions present in saline feed streams. However, some fundamental performance issues remain. For example, TFC membranes are constrained by the permeability-selectivity trade-offs and often have insufficient rejection of some ions and trace micropollutants, requiring additional purification stages that increase the energy and cost.

Biological water channels, also known as aquaporins, provide a blueprint for the structures that could offer increased performance. They have an extremely narrow inner pore that squeezes water down to a single-file configuration that enables extremely high water permeability, with transport rates exceeding 1 billion water molecules per second through each pore.

“Carbon nanotubes represent some of the most promising scaffold structures for artificial water channels because of the low friction of water on their smooth inner surfaces, which mimic the biological water channels,” said Alex Noy, LLNL chemist and a lead co-author of the report.

The team developed CNT porins (CNTPs) — short segments of CNTs that self-insert into biomimetic membranes – which form artificial water channels that mimic aquaporin channel functionality and intrachannel single-file water arrangement. Researchers then measured water and chloride ion transport through 0.8-nm-diameter CNTPs using fluorescence-based assays. Computer simulations and experiments using CNT pores in lipid membranes demonstrated the mechanism for enhanced flow and strong ion rejection through inner channels of carbon nanotubes.

“This process allowed us to determine the accurate value of water-salt permselectivity in narrow CNT pores,” said LLNL materials scientist and lead co-author Tuan Anh Pham, who led the simulation efforts of the study. “Atomistic simulations provide a detailed molecular-scale view of water entering the CNTP channels and support the activation energy values.”

Other key contributors to the project included LLNL chemists Yuhao Li, Zhongwu Li and Fikret Aydin. Researchers from Southeast University in China and UC Merced also contributed.

The work was funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and parts of it were performed as a part of the Center for Enhanced Nanofluidic Transport Energy Frontier Research Center.

Tags:  Alex Noy  carbon nanotube  Graphene  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  Tuan Anh Pham  water purification 

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Talga Boosts European Natural Graphite Resources

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, September 19, 2020
Talga Resources is pleased to announce significant increases in the Company’s natural graphite mineral resources within its wholly-owned Vittangi Graphite Project in northern Sweden.

Talga has completed a review of its four JORC (2012) compliant graphite mineral resources within Vittangi to standardise parameters for increased accuracy in upcoming feasibility studies and enable better mine planning, permitting and reporting.

The review also identified significant new Exploration Targets to be tested along strike and at depth from current resources, providing potential for future additional resource growth. Highlights  of results of the review include:

• Updated Nunasvaara South Mineral Resource Estimate defines 15% increase in total natural graphite resources at Vittangi

• Vittangi graphite mineral resource now stands at 19.5 million tonnes at 24.0% graphite (based on a revised 10% cut-off grade across the project)

• Vittangi remains the world’s highest grade natural graphite resource1, set to play a significant role in battery anode production for the booming electric vehicle market

• Talga’s total graphite resource inventory in Sweden increases to 55.3 million tonnes at 17.5% graphite, representing the largest source of natural graphite defined in Europe2

• Additional growth Exploration Targets totalling 26–46 million tonnes at 20–30% graphite defined within Vittangi and set to be drill-tested for potential further increases in scale

Note that the potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Target is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.

Commenting on the resource upgrade, Talga Managing Director Mark Thompson said: “We are pleased to continue defining and growing these globally significant and strategically important European graphite deposits.“

“The European Commission recently published an updated list of Critical Raw Materials necessary for the energy transition to a more sustainable society. Natural graphite features on this list of materials vital to European development as it forms nearly half the volume of active materials in electric vehicle batteries, where it is used as the anode.”

“With projected anode demand set to reach 3.2 million tonnes by 20303 the potential of Talga’s Swedish integrated natural graphite anode production facility is significant for the European electric vehicle supply chain and the ‘green’ economy.

Tags:  Batteries  Graphene  Graphite  Mark Thompson  Talga Resources 

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Projects Led by Pitt Chemical Engineers Receive more than $1 million in NSF Funding

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, September 19, 2020
Two projects led by professors in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering have recently received funding from the National Science Foundation.

Lei Li, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at Pitt, is leading a project that will investigate the water wettability of floating graphene. Research over the past decade by Li and others has shown that water has the ability to “see through” atomic-thick layers of graphene, contributing to the “wetting transparency” effect. 

“This finding provides a unique opportunity for designing multi-functional devices, since it means that the wettability of an atomic-thick film can be tuned by selecting an appropriate supporting substrate,” said Li. “Because the substrate is liquid, one can control the wettability in real-time, a capability that would be very useful for water harvesting of moisture from the air and in droplet microfluidics devices.”

The current project will use both experimental and computational methods to understand the mechanisms of wetting transparency of graphene on liquid substrates and demonstrate the real-time control of surface wettability. Li and his co-PIs Kenneth Jordan, Richard King Mellon Professor and Distinguished Professor of Computational Chemistry at Pitt and co-director of the Center for Simulation and Modeling; and Haitao Liu, professor of chemistry at Pitt, received $480,000 for the project titled, “Water wettability of floating graphene: Mechanism and Application.” 

The second project will develop technology to help enable the widespread adoption of renewable energy, like solar and wind power. James McKone, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at Pitt, is collaborating with researchers at the University of Rochester and the University at Buffalo to develop a new generation of high-performance materials for liquid-phase energy storage systems like redox flow batteries, one of McKone’s areas of expertise. The project, “Collaborative Research: Designing Soluble Inorganic Nanomaterials for Flowable Energy Storage,” received $598,000 from the National Science Foundation, with $275,398 designated for Pitt.

McKone’s team will investigate the molecular properties of soluble, earth-abundant nanomaterials for use in liquid-phase battery systems. These batteries are designed to store massive amounts of electricity from renewable energy sources and provide steady power to the grid.

“Unlike the batteries we normally think of in phones and laptop computers, this technology uses liquid components that are low-cost, safe and long-lasting,” said McKone. “With continued development, this will make it possible to store all of the new wind and solar power that is coming available on the electric grid without adding a significant additional cost.” 

McKone is collaborating with Dr. Ellen Matson, Wilmot Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rochester, and Dr. Timothy Cook, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University at Buffalo.

Tags:  Batteries  energy storage  floating graphene  Graphene  James McKone  Lei Li  nanomaterials  National Science Foundation  University of Pittsburgh 

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WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN THE SHEETS? ‘FLOATING’ GRAPHENE ON A BED OF CALCIUM ATOMS

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, September 19, 2020
Adding calcium to graphene creates an extremely-promising superconductor, but where does the calcium go?

Adding calcium to a composite graphene-substrate structure creates a high transition-temperature (Tc) superconductor.

In a new study, an Australian-led team has for the first time confirmed what actually happens to those calcium atoms: surprising everyone, the calcium goes underneath both the upper graphene sheet and a lower ‘buffer’ sheet, ‘floating’ the graphene on a bed of calcium atoms.

Superconducting calcium-injected graphene holds great promise for energy-efficient electronics and transparent electronics.

STUDYING CALCIUM-DOPED GRAPHENE: THROWING OFF THE DUVET

Graphene’s properties can be fine-tuned by injection of another material (a process known as ‘intercalation’) either underneath the graphene, or between two graphene sheets.

This injection of foreign atoms or molecules alters the electronic properties of the graphene by either increasing its conductance, decreasing interactions with the substrate, or both.

Injecting calcium into graphite creates a composite material (calcium-intercalated graphite, CaC6) with a relatively ‘high’ superconducting transition temperature (Tc). In this case, the calcium atoms ultimately reside between graphene sheets.

Injecting calcium into graphene on a silicon-carbide substrate also creates a high-Tc superconductor, and we always thought we knew where the calcium went in this case too…

Graphene on silicon-carbide has two layers of carbon atoms: one graphene layer on top of another ‘buffer layer’: a carbon layer (graphene-like in structure) that forms between the graphene and the silicon-carbide substrate during synthesis, and is non-conducting due to being partially bonded to the substrate surface.

“Imagine the silicon carbide is like a mattress with a fitted sheet (the buffer layer bonded to it) and a flat sheet (the graphene),” explains lead author Jimmy Kotsakidis.

Conventional wisdom held that calcium should inject between the two carbon layers (between two sheets), similar to injection between the graphene layers in graphite. Surprisingly, the Monash University-led team found that when injected, the calcium atoms’ final destination location instead lies between buffer layer and the underlying silicon-carbide substrate (between the fitted sheet and the mattress!).

“It was quite a surprise to us when we realised that the calcium was bonding to the silicon surface of the substrate, it really went against what we thought would happen”, explains Kotsakidis.

Upon injection, the calcium breaks the bonds between the buffer layer and substrate surface, thus, causing the buffer layer to ‘float’ above the substrate, creating a new, quasi-freestanding bilayer graphene structure (Ca-QFSBLG).

This result was unanticipated, with extensive previous studies not considering calcium intercalation underneath the buffer layer. The study thus resolves long-standing confusion and controversy regarding the position of the intercalated calcium.

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements at the Australian Synchrotron were able to pinpoint the location of the calcium near to the silicon carbide surface

Results were also supported by low-energy electron diffraction (LEED), and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) measurements, and by modelling using density functional theory (DFT).

AND MAGNESIUM TOO…
With this information at hand, the Australian team also decided to investigate if magnesium–which is notoriously difficult to inject into the graphite structure –could be inserted (intercalated) into graphene on a silicon-carbide substrate.

To the researchers’ surprise, magnesium behaved remarkably similarly to calcium, and also injected between the graphene and substrate, again ‘floating’ the graphene.

Both magnesium- and calcium-intercalated graphene n-type doped the graphene, and resulted in a low workfunction graphene, an attractive aspect when using graphene as a conducting electrical contact for other materials.

But unlike calcium, magnesium-intercalated graphene remained stable in ambient atmosphere for at least 6 hours, overcoming a major technical hurdle for alkali and alkaline earth intercalated graphene.

“The fact that Mg-QFSBLG is a low workfunction material and n-type dopes the graphene while remaining quite stable in ambient atmosphere is a huge step in the right direction for implementing these novel intercalated materials in technological applications,” explains co-author Prof Michael Fuhrer.

“Magnesium-intercalated graphene could be a stepping stone towards discovery of other similarly stable intercalants.”

Tags:  Electronics  Graphene  Graphite  Jimmy Kotsakidis  Monash University  superconductor 

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Graphene enables the smallest, most sensitive sensors

Posted By Graphene Council, Saturday, September 19, 2020
We interview Peter Steeneken, from Graphene Flagship partner TU Delft, and Leader of the Graphene Flagship Sensors Work Package, on the advantages of graphene and related materials in the development of sensing devices – particularly NEMS. NEMS stands for nanoelectromechanical systems: a class of miniaturised devices that detect stimuli like air pressure, sound, light, acceleration or the presence of gases and chemical compounds.

NEMS production methods resemble those of the manufacture of classic transistors, so they can achieve similar production costs and widespread commercialisation. The Graphene Flagship is integrating graphene and related materials in NEMS. Keep reading to discover the future of miniaturised sensing!

"Graphene allows for ultimate force sensitivities in high-performance pressure sensors, microphones and accelerometers."- Peter Steeneken, Graphene Flagship 'Sensors' Leader

What exactly are NEMS sensors?

The NEMS acronym, meaning nanoelectromechanical systems, comprises a family of electric and electronic devices with nanometric dimensions that are mechanically movable. In the Graphene Flagship Sensors Work Package, we are mostly interested in NEMS sensors, which can measure air pressure, sound, light intensity, acceleration, or the presence of gases. To measure such forces you need motion, so movable parts are essential for NEMS.

Currently, MEMS (NEMS' micrometric 'big' cousins) have similar functionalities and are already produced in high volumes – up to billions of MEMS sensors per year – for devices like smartphones. Since they are produced using similar methods as CMOS electronics, they can be made small and with low production costs, which has accelerated their widespread commercialization.

NEMS are nanoscale devices – much smaller devices than classic MEMS. Their smaller size has several advantages: NEMS have higher sensitivity, and many of them can be placed on the same area that would be taken up by a single MEMS sensor. Moreover, NEMS are potentially cheaper, because they need less material to make, so more sensors can be produced from a single silicon wafer. The nanometric size of NEMS also enables new sensing functionalities. For instance, NEMS can even detect individual molecules and count them.

What innovative features does graphene bring to the NEMS field?

Since graphene is only one atom thick, it is the thinnest NEMS device-layer one can imagine. In terms of mechanical properties, graphene is stiff yet very flexible – suspended graphene can be deflected out-of-plane, allowing for ultimate force sensitivities in high-performance pressure sensors, microphones and accelerometers.

At the same time, graphene membranes are very robust. By tensioning graphene like a guitar string, its spring constant can be tuned and engineered to the desired value. The high electrical conductivity of graphene is also advantageous in electrical actuation, needed to provide the readout of sensors.

Although graphene is impermeable to gases in its pristine form – something that can be essential for pressure sensors – we can also tailor it with small pores and make it permeable or semi-permeable for gases and liquids, enabling completely new sensing functions. Compared to other types of thicker membranes, fluids can permeate at higher rates through graphene, which enables faster and lower power operation of sensing and separation devices. During the last years, the feasibility and potential of graphene for realizing novel and improved graphene NEMS sensors has become more apparent, as we describe in a recent review.1

"Graphene sensors could also increase our safety, [...] warn us in case of poor ventilation or remind us to wear a mask." - Peter Steeneken, Graphene Flagship 'Sensors' Leader

Graphene is one material in a huge family – can other layered materials be applied to NEMS devices as well?

Certainly. MEMS devices already use combinations of materials in the suspended layers: electrical conductors, semiconductors, insulators, optical and magnetic active layers, as well as piezoresistive and electric layers for sensing and actuation. We envisage that similar suspended heterostructures might be realised in NEMS by combining different types of layered materials.

We have already shown NEMS that use layered materials with high piezoresistive constants and others that showcase resistances that make them very sensitive to changes in gas compositions. Another approach for NEMS sensors would be to cover graphene with thin functionalisation layers, enabling new types of gas and biosensors as outlined in a recent focus issue edited by Arben Merkoci, from Graphene Flagship partner ICN2, Spain, and member of the Sensors Work Package.2

What are the applications of graphene-based NEMS sensors?

There is a wide range of applications that can be targeted. We could replace sensors in our mobile phones by smaller, more sensitive devices. These will allow better indoor navigation, thanks to acceleration and pressure sensors and directional low-noise microphones.

Graphene sensors could also increase our safety: our phone could warn us in case of poor ventilation, detecting increased CO2 levels in the environment – or remind us to wear a mask, if it senses that air pollution reaches dangerous thresholds. Beyond, high-end laboratory instruments, such as scanning probe microscopes, might also benefit from the flexibility of graphene.2

"With graphene, we could replace sensors in our smartphones by smaller, more sensitive devices." -  Peter Steeneken, Graphene Flagship 'Sensors' Leader

For you, which is the most exciting application of graphene for sensing?

I am excited about creating sensor platforms by combining multiple graphene sensors together. By making new combinations, sensors can become more selective and undesired crosstalk can be eliminated. Moreover, by combining the output of multiple sensors, we can extract more information about our environment.

For gas sensors, the combination of outputs provides a "fingerprint" of gas composition. Similarly, by combining outputs of accelerometers, pressure sensors, magnetometers, and microphones, we can deduce if someone is walking, biking, climbing stairs or driving a car.

I believe that some of the most exciting and impactful new applications of these graphene sensors will be in the medical domain: by developing graphene sensor platforms that can help us better detect and diagnose diseases. In fact, one of the latest Graphene Flagship spin-offs, INBRAIN Neuroelectronics, will design graphene-based sensors and implants to optimise the treatment of brain disorders, such as Parkinson's and epilepsy. Moreover recently, the production of graphene biosensors has advanced, and Graphene Flagship partner VTT, in Finland, already sells CMOS integrated multiplexed biosensor matrices for testing and development purposes.

Are graphene-enabled NEMS ready to jump onto the market?

During the last few years, we showed that graphene NEMS sensors can outperform current commercial MEMS sensors in several aspects. To get to the market, we need to show that graphene sensors can outperform current products in all aspects – including high-volume reliable production at a competitive cost.

To achieve this, more development is needed. The push of the Graphene Flagship towards industrialisation and large-scale manufacturing, will accelerate the NEMS sensors entry into the market. 

Just like MEMS, graphene NEMS have benefited from established CMOS fabrication methods, which facilitate high-volume low-cost production. Introducing a new material into a CMOS factory often takes between five and ten years of development.

These advances are achieved through international and multidisciplinary collaboration. In fact, the Graphene Flagship Sensors Work Package comprises a collaborative endeavour between industry and academia: Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), ICN2, ICFO, Graphenea (Spain), RWTH Aachen, Bundeswehr University of Munich, Infineon Technologies (Germany), University of Tartu (Estonia), VTT (Finland) and TU Delft (Netherlands) - all Graphene Flagship partners.

With the support of the European Commission, the Graphene Flagship will soon start setting up set up an experimental pilot line to integrate graphene and related layered materials in a semiconductor platform. This will not only accelerate graphene device fabrication, but also accelerate the development of new graphene-enabled devices, providing an identical repeatable device fabrication flow.

Tags:  Arben Merkoci  Graphene  Graphene Flagship  ICN2  INBRAIN Neuroelectronics  Peter Steeneken  Sensors  TU Delft 

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AMD joins the WSRF framework programme

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, September 17, 2020
Advanced Material Development has been selected to join the WSRF framework programme led by QinetiQ and involving over 100 leading industrial and academic suppliers, all focused on developing exploitable technologies for the UK Armed Forces.

John Lee, CEO of AMD, said “This is a highly significant development for AMD in acknowledging both the important role materials science has to play and more specifically, the core need for nanomaterials development, in new defence-sector technologies. AMD is delighted to be welcomed into such esteemed company and we look forward to making a fundamental contribution to this vital programme, combining our R&D expertise with highly experienced companies in this sector.”

Tags:  Advanced Material Development  defence  Graphene  John Lee  nanomaterials  QinetiQ 

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Process approach to making graphene dispersion decisions

Posted By Graphene Council, Thursday, September 17, 2020

Applied Graphene Materials was invited by The Graphene Council to participate in a webinar to look at how to use and apply graphene materials, in particular how to disperse into host materials. Some of the discussion points touched upon in this webinar include:

Making graphene work
If you can add graphene to it correctly you can make great use of the materials advantages

The Keys
• Application Technology - clear understanding of end-use
• 'How-to' data enables easy use of graphene
• Unlocking use of graphene

Dispersion decision flow chart
• What could graphene do for product enhancement?
• Understand where it will be used and when to be added
• Compatibility - will graphene addition upset the balance of the rest of the formulation?

Stability
• Is the dispersion stable or does it sediment out?
• Can it be recovered? How?
• What are the implications for end-customer use?

Tags:  Applied Graphene Materials  Graphene  The Graphene Council  webinar 

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