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).

applications of composites image

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.


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:

Graphene Square shows transparent graphene toaster at CES

At the recent CES event, South Korea-based Graphene Square presented its 'kitchen styler' - a transparent toaster that uses graphene.

In addition to tracking the level of toasting of the bread, the device is also said to offer 50% less power consumption and enable outdoor cooking with rechargeable batteries. The device is also foldable and expandable to dual cooking/warming plates and connects to mobile devices for recipe download/control.

Haydale's GNPs to improve textiles used by iCraft and Pro-Spec

Haydale has announced that, following the successful incorporation of graphene nano-platelets (GNPs) in its cosmetic face mask sheets and PPE face masks, iCraft is using Haydale’s functionalized GNPs in its graphene-coated fabric, THERMiT™.

In order to grant increased performance in terms of thermal and antibacterial properties, Haydale’s plasma functionalized GNPs have been used to coat the nylon fibers in the lining of a down jacket. The graphene coated fabric, THERMiT™, was supplied to South Korean sports apparel brand, Pro-Specs, for use in a new graphene-enhanced jacket. The initial production run of 8,000 items, which was available in store and online, sold out within weeks of being released.

Nanotech Energy named CES 2022 Innovation Award Winner in Sustainability, Eco-Design & Smart Energy Category

Nanotech Energy, producer of graphene-based energy storage, has announced that its non-flammable Graphene-Organolyte batteries have been named a CES 2022 Innovation Award Winner in the Sustainability, Eco-Design & Smart Energy category. The CES Innovation Awards program is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in 27 consumer technology product categories.

Nanotech Energy produces non-flammable, graphene-based batteries that realize graphene’s potential to create real-world benefits, from safer, more cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly personal electronic devices to creating a more efficient way to harness renewable energy. Nanotech Energy’s proprietary electrolyte, Graphene-Organolyte, is not only stable and non-flammable — it’s also made from inexpensive materials and is easy to manufacture.

Researchers point to moiré nematic phase in twisted double bilayer graphene

Researchers from Columbia University, Harvard University, RWTH Aachen University, University of Innsbruck, Drexel University, National Institute for Materials Science in Japan, University of Minnesota and others have studied twisted double sheets of bilayer graphene and have found an electronic nematic phase.

Moiré nematic phase in twisted double bilayer graphene image

First described in another state of matter called a liquid crystal, a nematic phase occurs when particles in a material break an otherwise symmetrical structure and come to loosely orient with one another along the same axis. This phenomenon is the basis of the LCD display commonly used in televisions and computer monitors. In an electronic nematic phase, the particles in question are electrons, whose behavior and arrangement in a material can influence how well that material will conduct an electrical current in different directions.

Graphene could replace ITO in OLED displays

In a new UK-funded research, scientists from Paragraf and Queen Mary University of London have successfully fabricated an Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) with a monolayer graphene anode instead of the problematic ITO.

Graphene could replace rare metal used in mobile phone screens imageGraphene OLED. Sapphire substrate/monolayer graphene/NPB: 50 nm/Alq3: 50 nm/LiF: 1.5 nm/Al: 100 nm. Image from study in AOM

Professor Colin Humphreys of Queen Mary and Paragraf, says: “Because of its importance and scarcity there have been many attempts to replace ITO, but no material has been found to have a comparable performance in an electronic or optical device until now. Our paper is the first paper in the world to demonstrate that graphene can replace ITO in an electronic/optical device. We have shown that a graphene-OLED has identical performance to an ITO-OLED. ITO-OLEDs are widely used as the touch screens on our mobile phones.”