A Graphene Superconductor That Plays More Than One Tune

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a graphene device that’s thinner than a human hair but has a depth of special traits. It easily switches from a superconducting material that conducts electricity without losing any energy, to an insulator that resists the flow of electric current, and back again to a superconductor — all with a simple flip of a switch. [Read More]

Carbon Dioxide Absorption By Boron Nitride Foam

A light foam created from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal boron nitride by materials scientists at Rice University absorbs carbon dioxide. They discovered freeze-drying hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) transformed it into a macro-scale foam that disintegrates in liquids. But adding a bit of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) into the mix turned it into a far more robust and useful material. [caption id="attachment_4124” align="alignleft” width="300”]Blocks of hexagonal-boron nitride foam treated with polyvinyl alcohol proved able to adsorb more than three times its weight in carbon dioxide. [Read More]

Graphene Quantum Dots Recycle Waste CO2 Into Fuel

Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots could represent a simple method for recycling waste carbon dioxide into valuable fuel, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere or burying it underground, say Rice University scientists. Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) are an efficient electrocatalyst to make complex hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide, according to the research team. Using electrocatalysis, Rice University materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan’s lab has shown the conversion of the greenhouse gas into small batches of ethylene and ethanol. [Read More]

Super-wrinkled Graphene Improves Battery Electrode Performance

A new method for making ultrathin metal-oxide sheets containing intricate wrinkle and crumple patterns has been found by researchers at Brown University. The textured metal-oxide films have better performance when used as photocatalysts and as battery electrodes, the researchers show in the journal ACS Nano. The findings extend previous work done by the same research group in which they developed a method for introducing finely tuned wrinkle and crumple textures into sheets of the nanomaterial graphene oxide. [Read More]

Light-controllable Dispersion And Recovery Of Graphene

A simple and effective way of capturing graphenes and the toxins and contaminants they attract from water by using light has been found by Monash University researchers. The findings, published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Nanoscale, could have important ramifications for large-scale water purification. A modest quantity of a special light-sensitive soap was added to the water containing the graphenes and contaminants. The soap changes its molecular structure when light of a particular color is shone onto it. [Read More]

Graphene Water Filter Breakthrough Could Help Solve Global Crisis

A newly developed graphene water filter could prove key to managing the global water crisis, a study has suggested. The graphene-based filter, developed by Monash University and the University of Kentucky, enables water and other liquids to be filtered nine times faster than the current leading commercial filter. Lack of access to safe, clean water is the biggest risk to society over the coming decade, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. [Read More]

Tuned Graphene Production: A Cost-effective Solution

A new method to make ‘defective’ graphene could provide the key to the the single-atomic layer material finding its place in the materials world. A team of researchers has now developed a simple electrochemical approach which allows defects to intentionally be created in the graphene, altering its electrical and mechanical properties and making the material even more useful. Electrochemical synthesis is the technique the researchers used to break graphite flakes into graphene layers. [Read More]

Flat Sheets of Graphene Formed Into 3-D Shapes With New Process

A new strategy for forming 3D shapes from flat, 2D sheets of graphene, has been developed by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The approach opens the door to future integrated systems of graphene-MEMS hybrid devices and flexible electronics. SungWoo Nam, assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering at Illinois, explained: The flexibility and 3D nature of our structures will enable intimate biosensing devices which can be conformed to the shape and characteristics of human skin and other biological systems. [Read More]

Graphene Electrode Powers Artificial Muscles

An electrode made of a single-atom-thick layer of carbon has been developed by researchers in South Korea to help make more robust artificial muscles. Ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs) are also known as artificial muscles. They are electro-active polymer actuators, changing in size or shape when stimulated by an electric field. IPMCs have been deeply investigated for possible applications to robotics inspired by nature, for example, underwater vehicles propelled by fish-like fins, and in rehabilitation devices for people with disabilities. [Read More]

Graphene Ink Used To Print Radio Frequency Antenna

A radio frequency antenna printed with graphene ink has been fabricated by researchers from the University of Manchester, along with BGT Materials Limited. The antenna demonstrated abilities which would make it practical for use in radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and wireless sensors, the researchers said. Furthermore, the antenna is flexible, environmentally friendly and could be mass-produced cheaply. The study shows that printable graphene is now ready for commercial use in low-cost radio frequency applications, according to Zhirun Hu, a University of Manchester researcher in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. [Read More]