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Letter from the Editor - 2016 January
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Letter from the Editor - January 2016


A Pattern Emerges

An organization of stories emerges along the development path of 2D materials

When we first discussed the launch of the Graphene Council Newsletter (GCN) two years ago, we proposed some basic outlines of the kind of content we believed it should provide. We wanted there to be a mix of scientific research with some commercialization news and we wanted to see if we could have that mix be organized along certain vertical industrial applications, i.e. electronics, biomedical, energy generation, etc.

With this latest edition of the GCN marking the end of our second year of publication, we have continued to try and provide a mix of research and commercial news. However, we have found that organizing that content according to vertical markets has evolved into the stories being best arranged according the actual development chain of two-dimensional materials: discovery of new materials, characterization of new properties, developing devices for various applications and finally optimizing the manufacturing of the material itself as well as the products made from it. 

Along these lines, in the characterization of properties, this quarter we cover news out of Singapore that graphene and boron nitride that has an electrical resistance 200 times greater than today’s magnetoresistance (MR) sensors used in everyday appliances. And how both black phosphorus and graphene could be the answer in the thermal management of electronics where increasing temperatures are compromising their operation. 

In manufacturing news this quarter, we cover a new twist on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) that promises a production of large sheets of graphene that could be 100 times cheaper to produce. Or a new company that is offering a graphene-based filament that could allow you to produce electronics parts at home with a 3D printer.

And in the area of applications and devices—where we are all interested in seeing 2D materials make it an impact—we look at what some people consider may be graphene’s “killer app”—measuring electronic resistance cheaply and easily. Plus, we examine a research group’s ranking of the best 2D materials for water desalination and then conduct an interview with a company that is on the verge of making a big commercial breakthrough in its use of graphene for the membranes used in water desalination.

While many look for 2D materials to replace silicon in computer chips, the research is opening up possibilities for their application that look to improve our quality of life far beyond faster computer processing. We’re following those developments.