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Letter from the Editor - 2015 July
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Letter from the Editor - July 2015


From ‘Gee-Whiz’ Technologies to the Mundane, Graphene Runs the Gamut



The term “graphene” seems to connote high-tech: next generation computers or mobile phones that can display 3D holographic images. That’s not altogether inaccurate since many are aiming to get graphene to deliver on those promises as we will see in this quarter’s edition of the newsletter. 


However, what gets neglected sometimes is that graphene makes for an intriguing alternative to materials that make up our everyday lives: like the light bulbs in our homes or the heating systems used to keep our homes warm. We will also see these types of applications in this quarter’s edition represented. 


Graphene and its two-dimensional cousins can enable more than just high-tech, gee-whiz technologies, but can also make the mundane devices of our everyday lives a little bit better too.


In our Q&A for this quarter we will speak to the founder of a company that has developed a technology that bridges these worlds by developing a mobile device recharger based on a graphene-enabled supercapacitor.


Stephen Voller, CEO of Zap&Go, describes the company’s technology and how it can charge itself in a few minutes and then charge your mobile device in the same short period of time, whereas it can take a lithium-based recharger a few hours to execute both of these tasks.


Of course, none of this great potential of graphene, whether it be currently realized or still envisioned, can come to be if industry does not adopt the material in the fabrication of its products.


Critical to this wider adoption of graphene is the need for industry standards so that buyers can be assured that the material they are buying consistently meets the requirements for their manufacturing process.


To look at this issue, we have another Q&A with the Executive Director of the Graphene Council, Terrance Barkan. He let’s us know where we are in the establishing of industry wide standards, what role the Graphene Council is playing in their development and the role that members of the Graphene Council association can do to participate.