Categories: Technology

Graphene – Material for the Future

Graphene is a one-atom-thick material that takes form as planar sheets of carbon atoms. This material is most noted for making up the basic structural element of graphite and charcoal, has been called the strongest material available, and can be used in electronics, car batteries, purifiers and more.

Recently in an article published on the BBC News website, graphene was touted as a “miracle material”. Many believe that the material is a replacement for silicon, primarily because of its strength (two hundred times the strength of steel) and its conductive properties. Because of these revelations and its many abilities, companies and individuals are exploring various ways to use graphene.

Mass Production of Graphene based Materials Planned

XG Sciences, a company that manufactures graphene Nano platelets, recently announced a plan to begin graphene production at the company’s new headquarters in Michigan. The plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of 80 tons.

The company’s graphene materials are used mainly in batteries, printed electronics, plastic structural components and coatings.

While XG Sciences manufactures much of their product for everyday use, they recently received a contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory to produce ultra high-energy ultracapacitors that will be used in space energy storage systems.

The ultra-capacitors manufactured by XG Sciences will be a significant upgrade over carbon charge storage materials because of a highly accessible surface area and a low resistance current carrying ability.

New Research in Graphene Uses could lead to Improved High Bandwidth Communication and Radar Systems

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Scientists working for HRL Labs in California have successfully completed the development of the world’s first graphene-based square-law millimeter detectors. The new detectors offer a linear dynamic range of over 60 dB and researchers believe they may lead to improved radar, imaging and telecommunication systems.

Infrared Detection Using Graphene Nanoribbons

The National Science Foundation recently awarded a research grant to a team of scientists to research the properties of graphene nanoribbons as they relate to infrared detection.

The purpose of the research is to significantly improve the performance of various infrared detection techniques beyond their current limitations.

Current infrared detectors experience limited capabilities in their spectral range and general sensitivities depending on which method is being used. The concept that is currently being researched aims to achieve a high sensitivity level over a large spectral range while using a single detection system.

The influx of money into the research of graphene has allowed the scientific community to explore endless uses for this material. Feasability studies by mostly electronics companies have proven that graphene is an affordable material that can be used in many mainstream electronics, and will likely be seen in mainstream items as soon as next year.

Because scientists have dubbed graphene as one of the most versatile materials currently in existence, newly created research and development organizations and investment – backed corporations will continue to be a normal occurrence for years to come.

Michelle Lee:

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