Article last updated on: Jul 12, 2020

Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern. Graphene is considered to be the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material - of both electricity and heat. All of these properties are exciting researchers and businesses around the world - as graphene has the potential to revolutionize entire industries - in the fields of electricity, conductivity, energy generation, batteries, sensors and more.

Mechanical strength

Graphene is the world's strongest material, and can be used to enhance the strength of other materials. Dozens of researchers have demonstrated that adding even a trace amount of graphene to plastics, metals or other materials can make these materials much stronger - or lighter (as you can use a smaller amount of material to achieve the same strength).

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Such graphene-enhanced composite materials can find uses in aerospace, building materials, mobile devices, and many other applications.

Thermal applications

Graphene is the most heat conductive found to date. As graphene is also strong and light, it means that it is a great material for making heat-spreading solutions, such as heat sinks or heat dissipation films. This could be useful in both microelectronics (for example to make LED lighting more efficient and longer lasting) and also in larger applications - for example thermal foils for mobile devices. Huawei's latest smartphones, for example, have adopted graphene-based thermal films.

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Energy storage

Since graphene is the world's thinnest material, it also extremely high surface-area to volume ratio. This makes graphene a very promising material for use in batteries and supercapacitors. Graphene may enable batteries and supercapacitors (and even fuel-cells) that can store more energy - and charge faster, too.

Graphene battery advantages imageThe advantages of graphene batteries

Coatings ,sensors, electronics and more

Graphene has a lot of promise for additional applications: anti-corrosion coatings and paints, efficient and precise sensors, faster and efficient electronics, flexible displays, efficient solar panels, faster DNA sequencing, drug delivery, and more.

Graphene is such a great and basic building block that it seems that any industry can benefit from this new material. Time will tell where graphene will indeed make an impact - or whether other new materials will be more suitable.

The latest Graphene Application news:

First Graphene announces milestone on supercapacitor materials

First Graphene (FGR) has announced that it has reached a milestone on its program to develop high performing supercapacitor materials. FGR’s recent work has been focused on the development of an optimized bill of materials for a supercapacitor to deliver high energy and power densities.

First Graphene has now announced that, in a standard test cell, its product PureGRAPH hybrid active materials outperform leading activated carbon materials over 100 cycles. The PureGRAPH materials have a specific capacitance of 140 farads per gram (f/g) while activated carbon cells typically have a specific capacitance of 35 f/g. FGR said this shows that PureGRAPH hybrid active materials can be formulated into an electrode slurry for use in device manufacture.

Roadfill succeeds in raising funds for its graphene-enhanced road repair technology

UK-based Roadfill develops a technology that combines waste plastic with graphene that is used to repair roads, while cutting CO2 emissions and creating a circular economy. According to the company's research, its products reduce bitumen (heated petroleum) usage by up to 14%, and last on average 7X longer, which can cut costs for public bodies and businesses by up to 30%. The products can be more weather and pothole resistant, and give greater surface friction, reducing tyre fatigue and braking distances.

Roadfill graphene-enhanced road repair photo

Roadfill is now raising funds in a successful crowdfunding campaign. The campaigns ends today, and the company already raised over £550,000 from over 600 investors, well over its original £350,000 target. If you are interested, hop over to Seedrs to check the company out - as you can still invest in it today.

Researchers demonstrate how graphene can improve perovskite solar cells

Recent research has shown that the incorporation of graphene-related materials improves the performance and stability of perovskite solar cells. Graphene is hydrophobic, which can enhance several properties of perovskite solar cells. Firstly, it can enhance stability and the passivation of electron traps at the perovskite’s crystalline domain interfaces. Graphene can also provide better energy level alignment, leading to more efficient devices.

Improving Solar Cells with Pristine Graphene on Lead Iodide Films image

In a recent study, Spain-based scientists used pristine graphene to improve the properties of MAPbI3, a popular perovskite material. Pristine graphene was combined with the metal halide perovskite to form the active layer of the solar cells. By analyzing the resulting graphene/perovskite material, it was observed that an average efficiency value of 15% under high-stress conditions was achieved when the optimal amount of graphene was used.

NanoMalaysia and UMORIE Graphene jointly develop graphene-based pouch cell battery for EVs

NanoMalaysia (NMB), a company under the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) set up to promote nanotechnology commercialization activities, has an ongoing collaboration with and UMORIE Graphene Technologies (UGT) that has recently yielded a working prototype of Malaysia's first graphene-based pouch cell battery to be used in electric vehicles (EV).

This full-cell lithium-ion battery enhanced with graphene will reportedly be a more efficient storage platform for clean and renewable energy source that will aim to revolutionize the EV industry. The battery's intellectual property (IP) is jointly developed by NMB, UGT and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Versarien announces collaboration with Superdry to develop graphene-enhanced clothing

Versarien has announced a commercial collaboration agreement with DKH Retail Limited, the worldwide wholesale distribution subsidiary of global fashion brand Superdry, to produce graphene-enhanced clothes.

Through the partnership, Superdry will develop graphene-enhanced garments, using Versarien's GRAPHENE-WEARTM technology, aiming to utilize graphene's thermal and moisture management properties into its garments.