Graphene enables world's smallest heat engine, may power future nano robots

Researchers from the National University of Singapore created the world's first nanosized heat engine, made from nanometre-thick fluorinated graphene. Such a tiny engine may be useful in nanorobotics and nanomachines. It can also be used as a valve for microfluids.

CIF3 graphene membrane engine image

The new nano-engine is made of graphene and weakly chemisorbed ClF3 molecules. The CIF3 molecules are used as actuators. The engine uses a laser light beam as the “ignition plug” - when the CIF3 molecules are exposed to the laser (532 nm wavelength) they sublimate - which expand the volume at the interface between the graphene and the substrate it is grown on. This generates a high pressure (around 23 MPa) and creates a "dome-like blister". The expansion (and later contraction when the laser is turned off) is equivalent to the motion of a piston in an internal combustion engine. The blister size can be controlled by changing the laser power.

BASF and the National University of Singapore to jointly develop graphene for OLEDs and OPVs

BASF logoThe Graphene Research Centre (GRC) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and BASF announced a new partnership to develop the use of graphene in organic electronics devices - such as OLED devices. The goal of this collaboration is to interface graphene films with organic electronic materials, with an aim to create more efficient and flexible lighting devices.

In this collaboration, the GRC will contribute its graphene knowledge (the synthesis and characterization of the graphene) while BASF is focused on organic materials. Of course BASF is also engaged with graphene research (for several years) and are looking to speed up their device development with this new partnership.

Frogs and beetles help develop a new way to grow graphene on silicon

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) developed a one-step method to grow and transfer high-quality graphene to silicon or other stiff substrates.

The new method, called "face-to-face transfer" was derived by beetles and tree frogs and how they keep their feet attached to fully submerged leaves. The idea is to grow graphene on copper-coated silicon. The copper is etched away while the graphene is held in place by bubbles that form capillary bridges. This keeps the graphene on the silicon and prevents it from peeling off during the etching process. When the etching is complete the graphene is attached to the silicon.

Graphene protective layers may enable higher density hard disks

The National University of Singapore and Fuji Electric (Malaysia) launched a new research project to develop graphene-based magnetic hard disk media. This project will explore how graphene may be used to provide a protective layer to HDD media. This will enable the magnetic heads to approach closer to the hard disks which will in turn enable higher densities.

The Graphene Research Center at NUS will integrate the graphene unto conventional magnetic media, and then Fuji Electric will conduct necessary assessments to ensure the new product is suitable for commercialization, including corrosion, durability and capacity tests. NUS is the sole proprietor of this new technology.

Grafoid and ProScan Rx Pharma to co-develop graphene-based cancer thermal treatment platform

Grafoid logoGrafoid and ProScan Rx Pharma announced a new joint-venture partnership to develop MesoGraf graphene-based nanotechnology platform for the precise targeting and thermal eradication of solid cancer tumors. This new platform aims to overcome the side effects and strong limitations of common cancer therapies.

The two companies established a new company called Calevia. Grafoid invested in Calevia and will co-manage the company. The new company will first target prostate cancer using ProScan’s anti-PSMA antibody. The new company will use a partially edge-functionalized MesoGraf derivative called MesoGraf Xide. This nanomaterial instantly transforms near infrared (NIR) light into heat.