Print Page | Contact Us | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register
Graphene Updates
Blog Home All Blogs

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 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Graphene Sensors will be part of the International Space Station

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

A new version of equipment developed in Brazil – the Solar-T –  will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) to measure solar flares. It is estimated that the Sun-THz, the name given to the new photometric telescope, will be launched in 2022 on one of the missions to the ISS and will remain there to take consistent measurements.



The photometric telescope works at a frequency of 0.2 to 15 THz, which can only be measured from space. In parallel, another telescope, the HATS, will be installed in Argentina. That instrument, which will be ready in 2020, will work at a frequency of 15 THz on the ground. The HATS is being constructed as part of a Thematic Project led by Guillermo Giménez de Castro, a professor at the Mackenzie Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics Center (CRAAM) at Mackenzie Presbyterian University (UPM).

The equipment was part of the subject matter presented during the session given by Giménez de Castro at FAPESP Week London, February 11-12, 2019.

The researcher explained that solar explosions, or flares, are phenomena that occur on the Sun’s surface, causing high levels of radiation in outer space. 

The Sun THz is an enhanced version of the Solar-T, a double photometric telescope that was launched in 2016 by NASA in Antarctica in a stratospheric balloon that flew 12 days at an altitude of 40,000 m.     

The Solar-T captured the energy emitted by solar flares at two unprecedented frequencies: from 3 to 7 terahertz (THz) that correspond to a segment of far infrared radiation.

The Solar-T was designed and built in Brazil by researchers at CRAAM together with colleagues at the Center for Semiconductor Components at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP).

Development was possible thanks to a Thematic Project and a Regular Research Grant from FAPESP. The principal investigator for both was Pierre Kaufmann, a researcher at CRAAM and one of the pioneers of radioastronomy in Brazil, who died in 2017.

The new equipment, with Kaufmann as one of its creators, will be the product of a partnership with the Lebedev Physics Institute in Russia.  

“The idea now is to use a set of detectors to measure a full spectrum, from 0.2 THz to 15 THz,” Giménez de Castro told Agência FAPESP.

Most of the new photometric telescope will be built in Russia, but it will have parts made in Brazil, such as the equipment that will be used to calibrate the entire instrument.

“The technology and concept behind the telescope were developed here [in Brazil]. The Russians liked the idea and are reproducing it and adding more elements. We are working on the cutting edge of technology. Forty years ago, the cutting edge for what could be done was 100 gigahertz. With the results obtained over the years, we are seeking higher frequencies, and prospects for the future are good,” said the researcher. 

The future of the equipment lies in its graphene sensors. Highly sensitive to terahertz frequencies, graphene sensors are able to detect polarization and be adjusted electronically.  

Experiments in creating these detectors are currently underway at the Center for Advanced Graphene, Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Research (MackGraphe) at Mackenzie Presbyterian University, a FAPESP-funded center.

The project also enjoys collaboration from the University of Glasgow, as part of the PhD work of Jordi Tuneu Serra, who is currently on a FAPESP-funded doctoral research internship abroad and who also attended FAPESP Week London.

Tags:  CRAAM  Graphene  Guillermo Giménez de Castro  Jordi Tuneu Serra  MackGraphe  Sensors 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Graphene Commercialization Conference in Berlin

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, February 21, 2019

Like many advanced materials, there is a significant learning curve to advance promising lab results into real commercial products. This includes a learning experience from the manufacturer, for cost-effective high-volume production, and a learning experience for the end-user, to establish the value and utilization of this novel material.   

IDTechEx have been following the graphene market throughout this learning experience, and the 13th edition of their commercially focussed B2B graphene conference, Graphene & 2D Materials, will be held from 10 - 11 April 2019 in Berlin, Germany. 

Once again, The Graphene Council will be there to help educate stakeholders on the value that graphene enhanced materials deliver, as well as to publicly announce the launch of the Verified Graphene Producer program. 



During the previous 12 conferences, the attendees have heard from all the main market players and end-users, with key market announcements made and technical insights provided. As the market reaches a turning point, this becomes more significant as the headlines have greater global impact.   

This combined conference and exhibition stands at a crucial point in the history of the graphene market. As laid out in a previous article, attendees will hear many relevant talks including those from: BASF, Sixth Element, NanoXplore, Avanzare, Sixonia Tech, Mitsubishi Electric, Samsung, First Graphene, and many more.   

Below are some selected indicators that the hype is turning to commercial reality for graphene. This includes the breaking of the scale vs orders dilemma, notable use-cases as a heat spreader, polymer additive, corrosion resistant coating, or enhanced battery electrode, and the upturn in investment and acquisitions. The specific news and outcomes for these indicators have all been seen at this world leading conference series and will continue to be added into the 2019 events.

2D materials are a diverse family, the event will include presentations on graphene nanoplatelets, graphene oxide (GO), reduced graphene oxide (rGO), and CVD graphene films. This includes perspectives and advancements multiple sections of the current and future supply chain: 

Material manufacturing: Attendees will hear from both established manufacturers looking to scale-up proceedings and new entries. For example, this includes NanoXplore and their 10,000 tpa plant announcement and Sixonia Tech a German university spin-out company working on electrochemical exfoliation. 

Intermediary formation: suspensions, polymer masterbatches and more are the most useful form of graphene-based products for many end-users. Attendees will hear more about this important step throughout the presentations. For example, Avanzare will discuss masterbatches for the polymer composite industry and Sixth Element provide suspensions to form heat spreaders and coatings. 

Integration and end-use application: How the materials are used, and the potential applications are very diverse. The conference will cover this in many applications from the use in energy storage, to polymer additives, electronic devices, thermal interface materials, and more all in discussion. 

Material sourcing and market opportunities: Many graphite mining companies are moving downstream and investing heavily to make this market a success. First Graphene are one such example of a vertically integrated company that will be presenting. Similarly, large materials companies are partnering or positioning themselves to utilise graphene products. Delegates will hear detailed analysis and perspectives of this industry from numerous speakers including from the likes of BASF.

For more information, please visit. 

Tags:  Avanzare  BASF  CVD  First Graphene  Graphene  Mitsubishi Electric  NanoXplore  rGO  Samsung  Sixonia Tech  Sixth Element 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Further gains from Talga high energy battery anode product

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

Australian advanced materials technology company, Talga Resources is pleased to announce further test results from its high energy graphene silicon lithium ion ("Li-ion") battery anode product Talnode™-Si.



Following initial test results (Oct 2018) further optimisation of Talnode-Si, with up to 15% silicon loading, has been underway at Talga's battery material facility in the Maxwell Centre of Cambridge University, UK. Highlights of new half cell cycling test results include:

• ~70% higher reversible capacity (~600mAh/g) than commercial graphite (~350mAh/g)*

• Coulombic efficiency of 99.5% - 99.9% with first cycle efficiency ~ 91%

• Up to 94% reversible capacity (after >130 cycles in a range of silicon loadings)

Talga Managing Director, Mr Mark Thompson: "The rapid development of our natural graphite anode products for Li-ion batteries have been extraordinary and the continued positive market response to products under development, Talnode-Si and Talnode-X, as well as our flagship product, Talnode-C, support plans for scaling up of Talnode products as part of our vertically integrated business strategy."

Moving Forward

Talnode-Si consists of a mixture of silicon and graphene particles engineered by Talga to be suitable for existing Li-ion battery manufacturing equipment as a high performance, cost-effective and scalable replacement for standard graphite anode materials. Commercial samples are being prepared, under confidentiality and material transfer agreements, with delivery commencing end of February 2019. Recipients include some of the world's largest electronics companies.

Development continues under the Safevolt project, a part of the £246 million UK-funded Faraday program, with Talga partners Johnson Matthey, Cambridge University and TWI. Based on the encouraging test results to date the Company has opted to progress to full cell testing and optimisation of Talnode-Si. Progress on the other Faraday projects, "Scale-up" and "Sodium" is continuing according to plan and updates will be provided as the programs proceed through their individual project stages.

Tags:  batteries  Graphene  Li-ion batteries  Mark Thompson  Talga Resources 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Is graphene the future of water filtration?

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Updated: Saturday, February 16, 2019

The National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester has signed an 18 month research project with LifeSaver, a UK-based manufacturer of portable and reusable water filtration systems.

The project will focus on developing graphene technology that can be used for enhanced water filtration, with the goal of creating a proprietary and patented, cutting-edge product capable of eliminating an even wider range of hazardous contaminants than currently removed by its existing high performance ultra-filtration process.

Graphene has emerged as a material with fantastic potential for water filtration and desalination in recent years, with researchers on graphene membranes at the NGI leading the way. Graphene was the first two-dimensional material ever discovered, it is also one of the strongest known natural materials in the world, while retaining high levels of flexibility, conductivity and filtration.

By incorporating graphene into its existing market leading water purification technology, LifeSaver hopes to reduce the sieve size of its hollow fibre filtration membrane from the current 15 nanometers (which effectively removes bacteria, microbial cysts and viruses) to about 1-3 nanometers. At that size, LifeSaver products could remove a much wider range of contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, certain chemicals and potentially even nuclear radiation, from drinking water supplies.

“Making a graphene-based portable water filter was our dream, and this collaboration with LifeSaver will enable that dream to be a reality sooner than later,” said Professor Rahul Nair, who will lead the project at The University of Manchester. “This is a great example of a collaborative project where we are trying to combine two independently developed technologies into one, to enhance the quality and availability of drinking water for those who need it most.” 

Founded in the UK in 2007, LifeSaver came to life following back-to-back natural disasters: the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina to address the resulting need for access to clean drinking water. The first LifeSaver prototype was developed and became the world’s first portable water filter capable of removing the smallest known waterborne viruses. Since that time, LifeSaver has established itself as an effective and long-lasting solution to drinking water issues in the humanitarian sectors, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Tags:  Graphene  LifeSaver  National Graphene Institute  Rahul Nair  water purification 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A new 'periodic table' for nanomaterials

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, February 18, 2019

The approach was developed by Daniel Packwood of Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and Taro Hitosugi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. It involves connecting the chemical properties of molecules with the nanostructures that form as a result of their interaction. A machine learning technique generates data that is then used to develop a diagram that categorizes different molecules according to the nano-sized shapes they form. This approach could help materials scientists identify the appropriate molecules to use in order to synthesize target nanomaterials.

Fabricating nanomaterials using a bottom-up approach requires finding 'precursor molecules' that interact and align correctly with each other as they self-assemble. But it's been a major challenge knowing how precursor molecules will interact and what shapes they will form.

Bottom-up fabrication of graphene nanoribbons is receiving much attention due to their potential use in electronics, tissue engineering, construction, and bio-imaging. One way to synthesise them is by using bianthracene precursor molecules that have bromine 'functional' groups attached to them. The bromine groups interact with a copper substrate to form nano-sized chains. When these chains are heated, they turn into graphene nanoribbons.

Packwood and Hitosugi tested their simulator using this method for building graphene nanoribbons.

Data was input into the model about the chemical properties of a variety of molecules that can be attached to bianthracene to 'functionalize' it and facilitate its interaction with copper. The data went through a series of processes that ultimately led to the formation of a 'dendrogram'.

This showed that attaching hydrogen molecules to bianthracene led to the development of strong one-dimensional nano-chains. Fluorine, bromine, chlorine, amidogen, and vinyl functional groups led to the formation of moderately strong nano-chains. Trifluoromethyl and methyl functional groups led to the formation of weak one-dimensional islands of molecules, and hydroxide and aldehyde groups led to the formation of strong two-dimensional tile-shaped islands.

The information produced in the dendogram changed based on the temperature data provided. The above categories apply when the interactions are conducted at -73°C. The results changed with warmer temperatures. The researchers recommend applying the data at low temperatures where the effect of the functional groups' chemical properties on nano-shapes are most clear.

The technique can be applied to other substrates and precursor molecules. The researchers describe their method as analogous to the periodic table of chemical elements, which groups atoms based on how they bond to each other. "However, in order to truly prove that the dendrograms or other informatics-based approaches can be as valuable to materials science as the periodic table, we must incorporate them in a real bottom-up nanomaterial fabrication experiment," the researchers conclude in their study. "We are currently pursuing this direction in our laboratories."

Tags:  Daniel Packwood  Graphene  Graphene Nanoribbons  Kyoto University  nanomaterials  Taro Hitosugi  Tokyo Institute of Technology 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Laser-induced graphene gets tough

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, February 18, 2019
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2019
Laser-induced graphene (LIG), a flaky foam of the atom-thick carbon, has many interesting properties on its own but gains new powers as part of a composite.

The labs of Rice University chemist James Tour and Christopher Arnusch, a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, introduced a batch of LIG composites in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano that put the material’s capabilities into more robust packages.

By infusing LIG with plastic, rubber, cement, wax or other materials, the lab made composites with a wide range of possible applications. These new composites could be used in wearable electronics, in heat therapy, in water treatment, in anti-icing and deicing work, in creating antimicrobial surfaces and even in making resistive random-access memory devices.

The Tour lab first made LIG in 2014 when it used a commercial laser to burn the surface of a thin sheet of common plastic, polyimide. The laser’s heat turned a sliver of the material into flakes of interconnected graphene. The one-step process made much more of the material, and at far less expense, than through traditional chemical vapor deposition.

Since then, the Rice lab and others have expanded their investigation of LIG. Last year, the Rice researchers created graphene foam for sculpting 3D objects.

“LIG is a great material, but it’s not mechanically robust,” said Tour, who co-authored an overview of laser-induced graphene developments in the Accounts of Chemical Research journal last year. “You can bend it and flex it, but you can’t rub your hand across it. It’ll shear off. If you do what’s called a Scotch tape test on it, lots of it gets removed. But when you put it into a composite structure, it really toughens up.”

To make the composites, the researchers poured or hot-pressed a thin layer of the second material over LIG attached to polyimide. When the liquid hardened, they pulled the polyimide away from the back for reuse, leaving the embedded, connected graphene flakes behind.

Soft composites can be used for active electronics in flexible clothing, Tour said, while harder composites make excellent superhydrophobic (water-avoiding) materials. When a voltage is applied, the 20-micron-thick layer of LIG kills bacteria on the surface, making toughened versions of the material suitable for antibacterial applications.

Composites made with liquid additives are best at preserving LIG flakes’ connectivity. In the lab, they heated quickly and reliably when voltage was applied. That should give the material potential use as a deicing or anti-icing coating, as a flexible heating pad for treating injuries or in garments that heat up on demand.

“You just pour it in, and now you transfer all the beautiful aspects of LIG into a material that’s highly robust,” Tour said.

Rice graduate students Duy Xuan Luong and Kaichun Yang and former postdoctoral researcher Jongwon Yoon, now a senior researcher at the Korea Basic Science Institute, are co-lead authors of the paper. Co-authors are former Rice postdoctoral researcher Swatantra Singh, now at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and Rice graduate student Tuo Wang. Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation supported the research.

Tags:  Christopher Arnusch  Graphene  James Tour  Lasers  Rice University 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Waterproof graphene electronic circuits

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, February 14, 2019
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2019
Water molecules distort the electrical resistance of graphene, but a team of European researchers has discovered that when this two-dimensional material is integrated with the metal of a circuit, contact resistance is not impaired by humidity. This finding will help to develop new sensors –the interface between circuits and the real world– with a significant cost reduction.

The many applications of graphene, an atomically-thin sheet of carbon atoms with extraordinary conductivity and mechanical properties, include the manufacture of sensors. These transform environmental parameters into electrical signals that can be processed and measured with a computer.

Due to their two-dimensional structure, graphene-based sensors are extremely sensitive and promise good performance at low manufacturing cost in the next years.
To achieve this, graphene needs to make efficient electrical contacts when integrated with a conventional electronic circuit. Such proper contacts are crucial in any sensor and significantly affect its performance.

But a problem arises: graphene is sensitive to humidity, to the water molecules in the surrounding air that are adsorbed onto its surface. H2O molecules change the electrical resistance of this carbon material, which introduces a false signal into the sensor.

However, Swedish scientists have found that when graphene binds to the metal of electronic circuits, the contact resistance (the part of a material's total resistance due to imperfect contact at the interface) is not affected by moisture.

“This will make life easier for sensor designers, since they won't have to worry about humidity influencing the contacts, just the influence on the graphene itself,” explains Arne Quellmalz, a PhD student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) and the main researcher of the research.

The study, published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, has been carried out experimentally using graphene together with gold metallization and silica substrates in transmission line model test structures, as well as computer simulations.

“By combining graphene with conventional electronics, you can take advantage of both the unique properties of graphene and the low cost of conventional integrated circuits.” says Quellmalz, “One way of combining these two technologies is to place the graphene on top of finished electronics, rather than depositing the metal on top the graphene sheet.”

As part of the European CO2-DETECT project, the authors are applying this new approach to create the first prototypes of graphene-based sensors. More specifically, the purpose is to measure carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, by means of optical detection of mid-infrared light and at lower costs than with other technologies.

Tags:  2D materials  Arne Quellmalz  Electronics  Graphene  KTH Royal Institute of Technology 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Scientists Probe into the Effect of Graphene on Light-wave Interaction

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials are helping facilitate nanostructure science. Their outstanding nonlinear optical properties like enhanced two-photon absorption and absorption saturation make new applications possible in laser technologies, optical computing and telecommunications. 

Nowadays, ongoing wave mixing studies in 2D materials mainly focus on harmonic generation. Four-wave mixing in near infrared was recently carried out on a graphene monolayer, and revealed a third-order nonlinear susceptibility χ(3) value, which is about 7 orders of magnitude larger than in bulk insulators like silica and BK7 glass, 3-5 orders larger than in bulk semiconductors like silicon, germanium, cadmium and zinc chalcogenides, metal oxides, and 10 times larger than in thin plasmonic gold films and nanoparticles.

Most recently, an even larger value was obtained in graphene nanoribbons at mid-infrared frequencies close to the transverse plasmon resonance. 

Despite these not yet abundant but impressive advances of phase conjugation in graphene, the effect of 2D materials on Stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) remains overlooked. Due to its fundamental importance in laser and fiber telecommunications, the effect currently attracts theoretical considerations concerning bulk and composite semiconductor materials, including practical designs. 

Recently, a collaborative study led by Prof. Dr. WANG Jun at Laboratory of Micro-Nano Optoelectronic Materials and Devices, Key Laboratory of Materials for High-Power Laser, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, investigated the character of SBS of low-concentration graphene nanoparticle suspensions in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and water. 

They found a strong SBS quenching effect which was attributed to the interference of density gratings formed in the liquid by electrostriction and thermal expansion forces (see Fig. 1).

Established linear dependences of SBS threshold on graphene absorption coefficient (i.e., concentration) can be used for the detection of small nanomaterial quantities in liquid media down to 5×10-8g·cm-3. 

Computer simulations of the Brillouin gain factor show the efficiency of different thermodynamic, electrooptic and photoacoustic parameters in the SBS quenching. The role of density and compressibility, which change as a result of carbon vapor bubble formation, is found to be decisive in leading to dramatic changes of refractive index, electrostrictive and acoustic damping coefficients. 

The effect can give tools to bubble nanosecond dynamics studies and a method of SBS suppression in optical composites applicable in laser technologies and optical telecommunication networks. 

This study, entitled "Stimulated Brillouin scattering in dispersed graphene" has been published online in Optics Express on Dec. 18, 2018. 

This work was supported by the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation, the Strategic Priority Research Program of CAS, the Key Research Program of Frontier Science of CAS, the Program of Shanghai Academic Research Leader and President’s International Fellowship Initiative of CAS.  

Tags:  2D materials  Graphene 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Haydale in Collaborative SMART Expertise Programme on Applications of Functionalised Micro & Nano Materials

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Haydale is pleased to announce that it is working alongside Swansea University, GTS Flexibles, Alliance Labels, Tectonic International, ScreenTec, Alliance Labels, Malvern Panalytical and the English Institute of Sport on a Welsh Government SMART Expertise Program. The programme, funded by the Welsh Government as part of its European Development Fund, is intended to benefit industry in Wales through the development of new concepts and advanced functionalised inks using Haydale’s advanced materials.

Combining expertise from across the consortium, the programme will see the creation of a product pipeline for the scale up to volume production of Applications of Functionalised Micro & Nano Materials, also known as the AFM2 Product Pipeline. This is designed to speed up the process required to take products from proof of concept into volume and profitable products. With a focus on market pull, the AFM2 Product Pipeline will turn a demand driven idea into a bench prototype followed by pilot production for market and customer evaluation.

The first examples to shape this pipeline development will be provided by the English Institute of Sport (EIS), Tectonic and GTS Flexibles, with an intention to generate a steady feed of new concepts into the pipeline to ensure its sustainability beyond the project.
 
As previously announced, Haydale, in collaboration with WCPC, has developed and refined a range of proprietary printing inks utilising its functionalised graphene for the development of advanced wearable technology to be embedded into a range of apparel for elite athletes in training for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The functionalised inks fulfil a range of functions in sensing and conditioning, combined with ease of printing for use in the rapidly growing wearable technology market. 
 
Professor Tim Claypole MBE, Director, the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, Swansea University, said: “This is a really exciting project which will take innovative concepts manufactured by printing of advanced functional materials and rapidly transitioned them from proof of concept into volume, profitable products. It will drive more applications for inks containing the unique functionalised nano carbons created by the Haydale Plasma Functionalisation process.”
 
Keith Broadbent, Haydale COO, said: “The close relationship with our colleagues at WCPC is now bearing fruit with a range of robust, stable, high performing functionalised inks and coatings emerging from extensive development work and finding applications in wearable technology, printed sensors and thermal management.”

Tags:  Alliance Labels  Graphene  GTS Flexibles  Haydale  Malvern Panalytical  ScreenTec  Swansea University  Tectonic International 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Coating for metals rapidly heals over scratches and scrapes to prevent corrosion

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
It’s hard to believe that a tiny crack could take down a gigantic metal structure. But sometimes bridges collapse, pipelines rupture and fuselages detach from airplanes due to hard-to-detect corrosion in tiny cracks, scratches and dents.

A Northwestern University team has developed a new coating strategy for metal that self-heals within seconds when scratched, scraped or cracked. The novel material could prevent these tiny defects from turning into localized corrosion, which can cause major structures to fail.

“Localized corrosion is extremely dangerous,” said Jiaxing Huang, who led the research. “It is hard to prevent, hard to predict and hard to detect, but it can lead to catastrophic failure.” 

When damaged by scratches and cracks, Huang’s patent-pending system readily flows and reconnects to rapidly heal right before the eyes. The researchers demonstrated that the material can heal repeatedly — even after scratching the exact same spot nearly 200 times in a row.

The study was published today (Jan. 28) in Research, the first Science Partner Journal recently launched by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in collaboration with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST). Huang is a professor of materials science and engineering in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.

While a few self-healing coatings already exist, those systems typically work for nanometer- to micron-sized damages. To develop a coating that can heal larger scratches in the millimeter-scale, Huang and his team looked to fluid. 

“When a boat cuts through water, the water goes right back together,” Huang said. “The ‘cut’ quickly heals because water flows readily. We were inspired to realize that fluids, such as oils, are the ultimate self-healing system.”

But common oils flows too readily, Huang noted. So he and his team needed to develop a system with contradicting properties: fluidic enough to flow automatically but not so fluidic that it drips off the metal’s surface. 

The team met the challenge by creating a network of lightweight particles — in this case graphene capsules — to thicken the oil. The network fixes the oil coating, keeping it from dripping. But when the network is damaged by a crack or scratch, it releases the oil to flow readily and reconnect. Huang said the material can be made with any hollow, lightweight particle — not just graphene.

“The particles essentially immobilize the oil film,” Huang said. “So it stays in place.”

The coating not only sticks, but it sticks well — even underwater and in harsh chemical environments, such as acid baths. Huang imagines that it could be painted onto bridges and boats that are naturally submerged underwater as well as metal structures near leaked or spilled highly corrosive fluids. The coating can also withstand strong turbulence and stick to sharp corners without budging. When brushed onto a surface from underwater, the coating goes on evenly without trapping tiny bubbles of air or moisture that often lead to pin holes and corrosion. 

“Self-healing microcapsule-thickened oil barrier coatings” was supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR N000141612838). Graduate student Alane Lim and Chenlong Cui, a former member of Huang’s research group, served as the paper’s co-first authors.

Tags:  Graphene  Jiaxing Huang  Northwestern University 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Large, stable pieces of graphene produced with unique edge pattern

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

Graphene is a promising material for use in nanoelectronics. Its electronic properties depend greatly, however, on how the edges of the carbon layer are formed. Zigzag patterns are particularly interesting in this respect, but until now it has been virtually impossible to create edges with a pattern like this. Chemists and physicists at FAU have now succeeded in producing stable nanographene with a zigzag edge.

Not only that, the method they used was even comparatively simple. 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 Nature Communications*.

Bay, fjord, cove, armchair and zigzag – when chemists use terms such as these, it is clear that they are referring to nanographene. More specifically, the shape taken by the edges of nanographene, i.e. small fragments of graphene. Graphene consists of a single-layered carbon structure, where each carbon atom is surrounded by three others. This creates a pattern reminiscent of a honeycomb, with atoms in each of the corners. Nanographene is a promising candidate for use in the field of microelectronics, taking over from silicon which is used today and bringing microelectronics down to the nano scale.

The electronic properties of the material depend greatly on its shape, size and above all, periphery, in other words how the edges are structured. A zigzag periphery is particularly suitable, as in this case the electrons, which act as charge carriers, are more mobile than in other edge structures. This means that using pieces of zigzag-shaped graphene in nanoelectronic components may allow higher frequencies for switches.

The problem currently faced by materials scientists who want to research only zigzag nanographene is that this form makes the compounds rather unstable, and unable to be produced in a controlled manner. This is a prerequisite, however, if the electronic properties are to be investigated in detail.

The team of researchers led by PD Dr. Konstantin Amsharov from the Chair of Organic Chemistry II have now succeeded in doing just that. Not only have they discovered a straightforward method for synthesising zigzag nanographene, their procedure delivers a yield of close to one hundred percent and is suitable for large scale production. They have already produced a technically relevant quantity in the laboratory.

First of all, the FAU researchers produce preliminary molecules, which they then fitt together in a honeycomb formation over several cycles, in a process known as cyclisation. In the end, graphene fragments are produced from staggered rows of honeycombs or four-limbed stars surrounding a central point of four graphene honeycombs, with the sought-after zigzag pattern to their edges. Why is this method able to produce stable zigzag nanographene? The explanation lies in the fact that the product crystallises directly even during synthesis. In their solid state, the molecules are not in contact with oxygen. In solution, however, oxidation causes the structures to disintegrate quickly.

This approach allows scientists to produce large pieces of graphene, whilst maintaining control over their shape and periphery. This breakthrough in graphene research means that scientists should soon be able to produce and research a variety of interesting nanographene structures, a crucial step towards finally being able to use the material in nanoelectronic components.

Tags:  Friedrich–Alexander University  Graphene  Konstantin Amsharov  nanoelectronics  nanographene 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Engineers develop novel strategy for designing semiconductor nanoparticles for wide-ranging applications

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) nanomaterials such as molybdenite (MoS2), which possess a similar structure as graphene, have been donned the materials of the future for their wide range of potential applications in biomedicine, sensors, catalysts, photodetectors and energy storage devices.

The smaller counterpart of 2D TMDs, also known as TMD quantum dots (QDs) further accentuate the optical and electronic properties of TMDs, and are highly exploitable for catalytic and biomedical applications. However, TMD QDs is hardly used in applications as the synthesis of TMD QDs remains challenging.

Now, engineers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a cost-effective and scalable strategy to synthesise TMD QDs. The new strategy also allows the properties of TMD QDs to be engineered specifically for different applications, thereby making a leap forward in helping to realise the potential of TMD QDs.

Bottom-up strategy to synthesise TMD QDs

Current synthesis of TMD nanomaterials rely on a top-down approach where TMD mineral ores are collected and broken down from millimetre to nanometre scale via physical or chemical means. This method, while effective in synthesising TMD nanomaterials with precision, is low in scalability and costly as separating the fragments of nanomaterials by size requires multiple purification processes. Using the same method to produce TMD QDs of a consistent size is also extremely difficult due to their minute size.

To overcome this challenge, a team of engineers from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NUS Faculty of Engineering developed a novel bottom-up synthesis strategy that can consistently construct TMD QDs of a specific size, a cheaper and more scalable method than the conventional top-down approach. The TMD QDs are synthesised by reacting transition metal oxides or chlorides with chalogen precursors under mild aqueous and room temperature conditions. Using the bottom-up approach, the team successfully synthesised a small library of seven TMD QDs and were able to alter their electronic and optical properties accordingly.

Associate Professor David Leong from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NUS Faculty of Engineering led the development of this new synthesis method. He explained, “Using the bottom-up approach to synthesise TMD QDs is like constructing a building from scratch using concrete, steel and glass component; it gives us full control over the design and features of the building. Similarly, this bottom-up approach allows us to vary the ratio of transition metal ions and chalcogen ions in the reaction to synthesise the TMD QDs with the properties we desire. In addition, through our bottom-up approach, we are able to synthesise new TMD QDs that are not found naturally. They may have new properties that can lead to newer applications.”

Applying TMD QDs in cancer therapy and beyond

The team of NUS engineers then synthesised MoS2 QDs to demonstrate proof-of-concept biomedical applications. Through their experiments, the team showed that the defect properties of MoS2 QDs can be engineered with precision using the bottom-up approach to generate varying levels of oxidative stress, and can therefore be used for photodynamic therapy, an emerging cancer therapy.

“Photodynamic therapy currently utilises photosensitive organic compounds that produce oxidative stress to kill cancer cells. These organic compounds can remain in the body for a few days and patients receiving this kind of photodynamic therapy are advised against unnecessary exposure to bright light. TMD QDs such as MoS2 QDs may offer a safer alternative to these organic compounds as some transition metals like Mo are themselves essential minerals and can be quickly metabolised after the photodynamic treatment. We will conduct further tests to verify this.” Assoc Prof Leong added.

The potential of TMD QDs, however, goes far beyond just biomedical applications. Moving forward, the team is working on expanding its library of TMD QDs using the bottom-up strategy, and to optimise them for other applications such as the next generation TV and electronic device screens, advanced electronics components and even solar cells.

Tags:  2D materials  Graphene 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Gratomic and TODAQ announce supply chain partnership to track commercial graphene from source to end consumer on the TODA protocol

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Monday, February 4, 2019
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2019
Gratomic Inc. and TODAQ Holdings are pleased to announce that they have entered into a memorandum of understanding describing the terms of a supply chain partnership to put Gratomic's supply chain and products on the TODA Protocol.

"The market for tires requires products that deliver fuel efficiency, safe handling, and extended wear.  Integrating Gratomic's operations and products onto the TODA-as-a-service ("TaaS") platform with TODAQ as a partner allows us to deliver the desired product efficiently and effectively into the customers hands, with the peace of mind of knowing what they own has been monitored from the raw material source through to the finished product,"said Gratomic's Chairman and co-CEO Sheldon Inwentash.

The project will focus on providing incontrovertible proof of provenance in respect of Gratomic's graphite supply and consequent synthesis of commercial nano engineered graphene products throughout the global graphene marketplace down to the end consumer. 

"We're pleased to add Gratomic as our mining partner alongside our other pharmaceutical and energy supply chain projects. TODAQ is looking forward to adding efficiency and security with scale to Gratomic's operations, providing a brand multiplier that adds confidence to products carrying liberated nano engineered graphene from Gratomic's dedicated graphite source, and of course addressing the potential for forgeries and fakes that can become a constant source of leakage," said Sung Soo Park, TODAQ Managing Director in Seoul.

The project will be rolled out in stages over 2019 as Gratomic brings its end products to market starting with first proof of concepts and staging to commercial delivery of its fuel efficient tire in collaboration with its development partner, Perpetuus Carbon Technologies.  

"Our Graphite mine in Namibia delivers some of the highest quality exceptionally friable graphite for ease of commercial processing. A methodology for monitoring which graphite source is processed into a specific product is a game changer," said Arno Brand, Gratomic's co-CEO.

It is expected that the complete project will span multiple continents with peer-to-peer cross-border settlement of transactions in less than a minute, and aim to efficiently demonstrate results that can commercially scale up looking into 2020. Later phases will also aim to include value-added trade finance services on the TaaS platform.

"The TODA Protocol ensures individual ownership of your own data and TODAQ is here to enable secure and efficient international trade and commoditize the settlement of value. The beauty of this project is that once a customer buys graphene ultra-efficient tires, they own that digital asset and embedded proof of the tire, without requiring any other intermediary including the mine, processor, manufacturing company, retail source or even TODAQ," said TODAQ CEO, Hassan Khan.

Tags:  Graphene  Gratomic  TODAQ Holdings 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Women in Graphene Career Development Day

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

The "Women In Graphene" initiative within the Graphene Flagship has been set up to help support women and create a more gender diverse scientific community. It aims to connect women working in graphene through biannual meetings and peer to peer support.



Many industries are faced with problems when it comes to gender equality. For example, 99% of female chemists experience a lack of progression in their sector, according to evidence given by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

The Graphene Flagship, one of our Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships will host a two day programme – the Women in Graphene Career Development Day – with seminars and workshops aiming to encourage diversity within this field’s community.

This will take place at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, UK between 11 and 12 February 2019 to coincide with the International Day of Women and Girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) with the objective of establishing a peer-to-peer support network and reoccurring bi-annual meetings.

NOTICE: THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED!


Tags:  Graphene  The Graphene Flagship 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Leading Supplier to Composites Companies Adds Graphene to Its Portfolio

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Friday, February 1, 2019

 

 

As an association trying to support and promote the use of graphene over the last half-decade, The Graphene Council has rightly focused on the interests and developments of the graphene research community as well as those companies marketing graphene materials. In addition, the Council has also sought to serve as an educational platform to help inform other vertical industries about the impact graphene can make on their businesses.

The Graphene Council recently got a boost to its knowledge base on how graphene is perceived by its largest commercial market: composites. Composites Onethe leading supplier in North America of materials and solutions to advanced composites manufacturers, recently joined The Graphene Council as a corporate member. Composites One positions itself as a team of composites experts that can provide insights on the latest advanced materials ranging from advanced fibers, to high-performance thermosets and thermoplastic systems, prepregs, and specialty core materials. The Graphene Council believes Composites One's expertise should reinforce its own knowledge that can then be distributed throughout our community.

To start this knowledge sharing, we took the opportunity to ask Jason Gibson, the Chief Applications Engineer at Composites One, a little bit about their business, how they came to graphene and what kind of outlook the company has for graphene in the composites market.

Q: Could you tell us a bit more about Composites One business, i.e. what kind of composites are you making and for what applications?

A: As North America’s leading provider of solutions for advanced composites manufacturers, Composites One stands ready to assist you, whatever your needs. We utilize the broadest portfolio of advanced raw materials to build comprehensive solutions, bringing you multiple options to meet your needs. Composites One supports our offering with strong technical expertise, along with local service and storage for reduced lead times. We are uniquely capable of handling complex requirements.

Our network of 41 stocking centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, including AS9120 and prepreg freezer locations, along with local delivery on our own fleet of trucks, ensures that your products are there when you need them. All of this is supported by a dedicated team of advanced composites specialists and our 80+ local technical sales representatives.

Q: What are some of the more advanced materials that Composites One has investigated for possibly integrating into your composite offerings?

A: From advanced fibers, to high-performance thermoset and thermoplastic systems, prepregs, specialty core materials, and ancillary products, we have the broadest product offering in the industry.   Our Advanced Composites product managers are specialists in epoxy resin, prepreg, carbon fiber, high performance core, and many other advanced composites solutions.

Q: What made you consider using graphene as a material for your composites, i.e. have you seen other composite manufacturers employing the material, or is it simple due diligence for all emerging materials?

A: We have seen graphene enhance many of the physical properties across the portfolio of resin systems we distribute.  Specifically, we've seen improved toughness, modulus and strength improvements allowing us to fill the needs of engineers and designers at many of our customers.  Composites One focuses on evaluating and distributing cutting edge products that allow us to help our customers meet their goals of improved products.

Q: Can you outline the process by which you would need to test to see if graphene, or any other new material, could be, or should be, integrated into your composites?

A: Composites One works in partnership with our suppliers, industry organizations and academic resources to vet and validate many nano-particles, including graphene.  We maintain a portfolio of diverse nano-particle products that enable us to provide objective solutions to our customers' needs.  This allows us to focus on an optimized solution based on the unique requirements of our customer.

Q: Based on your initial impressions of graphene, where are you expecting the material to fit into your product offerings?

A: We offer graphene in masterbatch form in multiple resin platforms, but focused mainly in our epoxy offerings.  Loadings can vary depending on the desired end results, and offering the masterbatch in the resin side of the epoxy allows for alternative hardening and additive solutions.  We have seen these products have success in multiple markets including sports and recreation, oil and gas, automotive and aerospace.

Q: At this point, what seems to be the issues that remain unclear about graphene, i.e. industry standards, how it will actually integrate into your composites, etc.?

A: Implementing these products into an industrial manufacturing process can be difficult.  Composites One has extensive experience in the process-ability of the nanoparticle enhancements we offer.  We do this in order to help our customers get over the usual hurdle of incorporating it into their manufacturing process.  It can be difficult to implement these solutions and our breadth and depth of experience in this product lines allows us to partner with our customers and help them move forward with minimal difficulties.

Tags:  composites  Composites One  masterbatches  prepregs  thermosets 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Materials design center receives $25 million grant

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, January 31, 2019
After spending the past five years solidifying Chicago as a hub for high-tech materials innovation, the second phase of the Chicago-based Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD) has been selected for funding. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) granted the multi-institutional, Chicago-based center an additional $25 million over the next five years.

CHiMaD is hosted by Northwestern University, with partners that include the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, QuesTek Innovations and ASM Materials Education Foundation. NIST is also a major collaborator with more than 50 investigators involved in CHiMaD research.

CHiMaD’s mission is to develop a new generation of computational tools, databases and experimental techniques that will enable the design of novel materials to address major societal challenges. The center is also transferring these tools and techniques to industry as well as training the next generation of materials innovators.

“CHiMaD’s central goal is to realize the promise of the Materials Genome Initiative,” said Peter Voorhees, the Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and one of the center’s three co-directors. “We are designing new materials, ranging from polymers for nanoelectronics to high-temperature metal alloys with the aim to facilitate a faster industrial design cycle of these materials while lowering manufacturing costs. We will also continue to enhance one of the world’s largest public domain collections of materials data that is at the core of our materials design effort.

Gregory B. Olson, the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern and co-director for the center, said: “Building on the Materials Genome infrastructure established in our first five years, we look forward to demonstrating a general methodology of computational materials design by applying our fundamental databases to the creation of novel, high-performance materials for applications ranging from electronics to space travel.”

“CHiMaD brings together the intellectual heft of two major universities in the area of materials design innovation — a national laboratory with deep expertise in materials and advanced computing, a startup company at the forefront of computational materials design, and the processing, characterization and development prowess of NIST,” said Juan de Pablo, the Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering and the Vice President for National Laboratories at the University of Chicago and co-director for the center. He continued, “By forming meaningful partnerships with leading companies that rely on fast design cycles to bring products to market at an accelerated pace, CHiMaD has established itself as a national and international thought center for materials innovation at the forefront of technology. The next phase of CHiMaD promises to result in exciting new discoveries that will rapidly find their way into products.” 

Designing materials employs physical theory, advanced computer models, vast materials properties databases and complex computations to accelerate the design of a new material with specific properties for a particular application. Since it launched in 2014, nearly 300 CHiMaD and NIST investigators have developed new materials for batteries, precision nanofabrication, electronics, inks for 3D printing, and structures to withstand extreme environments and more.

CHiMaD specifically focuses on the creation of novel “hierarchical materials,” which exploit distinct structural details at various scales — from the atomic on up — to achieve special, enhanced properties. An example in nature of a hierarchical material is bone, a composite of mineral and protein at the molecular level assembled into microscopic fibrils that in turn are assembled into hollow fibers and on up to the highly complex material that is “bone.” 

CHiMaD works to advance the national Materials Genome Initiative, which aims to accelerate the pace of new materials discovery by combining theoretical, computational and experimental science. Techniques for designing materials have the potential to revolutionize the development of new advanced materials, which in turn have created whole industries. It’s estimated that the average time from laboratory discovery of a new material to its first commercial use can take up to 20 years. The Materials Genome Initiative aims to halve that.

Tags:  Center for Hierarchical Materials Design  CHiMaD  National Institute of Standards and Technology  NIST 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Promising steps towards large scale production of graphene nanoribbons for electronics

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Thursday, January 31, 2019
Two-dimensional sheets of graphene in the form of ribbons a few tens of nanometers across have unique properties that are highly interesting for use in future electronics. Researchers have now for the first time fully characterised nanoribbons grown in both the two possible configurations on the same wafer with a clear route towards upscaling the production.

Graphene in the form of nanoribbons show so called ballistic transport, which means that the material does not heat up when a current flow through it. This opens up an interesting path towards high speed, low power nanoelectronics. The nanoribbon form may also let graphene behave more like a semiconductor, which is the type of material found in transistors and diodes. The properties of graphene nanoribbons are closely related to the precise structure of the edges of the ribbon. Also, the symmetry of the graphene structure lets the edges take two different configurations, so called zigzag and armchair, depending on the direction of the long respective short edge of the ribbon.

The nanoribbons were grown in two directions along ridges on the substrate. This way both the zigzag- and armchair-edge varieties form and can be studied at the same time. The positions of the atoms in the graphene layer as well as the zig zag edge can be seen from the scanning tunneling microscopy image (Å stands for Ångström, 0.1 nanometers).

The nanoribbons were grown on a template made of silicon carbide under well controlled conditions and thoroughly characterised by a research team from MAX IV Laboratory, Technische Universität Chemnitz, Leibniz Universität Hannover, and Linköping University. The template has ridges running in two different crystallographic directions to let both the armchair and zig-zag varieties of graphene nanoribbons form. The result is a predictable growth of high-quality graphene nanoribbons which have a homogeneity over a millimeter scale and a well-controlled edge structure.

One of the new findings is that the researchers were able to show ballistic transport in the bulk of the nanoribbon. This was possible due to extremely challenging four probe experiments performed at a length scale below 100 nm by the group in Chemnitz, says Alexei Zakharov, one of the authors.

The electrical characterization also shows that the resistance is many times higher in the so called armchair configuration of the ribbon, as opposed to the lower resistance zig-zag form obtained. This hints to a possible band gap opening in the armchair nanoribbons, making them semiconducting. The process used for preparing the template for nanoribbon growth is readily scalable. This means that it would work well for development into the large-scale production of graphene nanoribbons needed to make them a good candidate for a future material in the electronics industry.

So far, we have been looking at nanoribbons which are 30–40 nanometers wide. It’s challenging to make nanoribbons that are 10 nanometers or less, but they would have very interesting electrical properties, and there´s a plan to do that. Then we will also study them at the MAXPEEM beamline, says Zakharov.

The measurements performed at the MAXPEEM beamline was done with a technique not requiring X-rays. The beamline will go into its commissioning phase this spring and will start welcoming users this year.

Tags:  2d materials  Graphene  graphene production 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Open-source automated chemical vapor deposition system for the production of two-dimensional nanomaterials

Posted By Graphene Council, The Graphene Council, Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2019
A research group at Boise State University led by Assistant Professor David Estrada of the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering has released the open-source design of a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system for two-dimensional (2D) materials growth, an advance which could lower the barrier of entry into 2D materials research and expedite 2D materials discovery and translation from the benchtop to the market.

2-dimensional materials are a class of materials that are one to a few atoms thick. The pioneering work of Nobel Laureates Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov in isolating and measuring the physical properties of graphene – a 2D form of carbon arranged in a hexagonal crystal structure - ignited the field of 2D materials research

While 2D materials can be obtained from bulk van der Waals crystals (e.g. graphite and MoS2) using a micromechanical cleavage approach enabled by adhesive tapes, the community quickly realized that unlocking the full potential of 2D materials would require advanced manufacturing methods compatible with the semiconductor industry’s infrastructure.

Chemical vapor deposition is a promising approach for scalable synthesis of 2D materials – but automated commercial systems can be cost prohibitive for some research groups and startup companies. In such situations students are often tasked with building custom furnaces, which can be burdensome and time consuming. While there is value in such endeavors, this can limit productivity and increase time to degree completion.

A recent trend in the scientific community has been to develop open-source hardware and software to reduce equipment cost and expedite scientific discovery. Advances in open-source 3-dimensional printing and microcontrollers have resulted in freely available designs of scientific equipment ranging from test tube holders, potentiostats, syringe pumps and microscopes. Estrada and his colleagues have now added a variable pressure chemical vapor deposition system to the inventory of open-source scientific equipment.

“As a graduate student I was fortunate enough that my advisor was able to purchase a commercial chemical vapor deposition system which greatly impacted our ability to quickly grow carbon nanotubes and graphene. This was critical to advancing our scientific investigations,” said Estrada. “When I read scientific articles I am intrigued with the use of the phrase “custom-built furnace” as I now realize how much time and effort graduate students invest in such endeavors.”

The design and qualification of the furnace was accomplished by lead authors Dale Brown, a former Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering graduate student, and Clinical Assistant faculty member Lizandra Godwin, with assistance from the other co-authors. The results of their variable pressure CVD system have been published in PLoS One ("Open-source automated chemical vapor deposition system for the production of two- dimensional nanomaterials") and include the parts list, software drivers, assembly instructions and programs for automated control of synthesis procedures. Using this furnace, the team has demonstrated the growth of graphene, graphene foam, tungsten disulfide and tungsten disulfide – graphene heterostructures.

“Our goal in publishing this design is to alleviate the burden of designing and constructing CVD systems for the early stage graduate student,” said Godwin. “If we can save even a semester of time for a graduate student this can have a significant impact on their time to graduation and their ability to focus on research and advancing the field.”

“We hope others in the community can improve on our design by incorporating open-source software for automated control of 2D materials synthesis,” said Estrada. “Such an improvement could further reduce the barrier to entry for 2D materials research.”

Tags:  2D materials  Boise State University  CVD  Graphene 

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