From November 25 to November 30, Graphenea was attending the Material Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting in Boston. This meeting intend to gather the top scientists and companies working for better materials.
Not such a long time ago, say five to six years, people were still using wide and heavy cell phones. They were only able to do one thing : to give a phone call. Nowadays, the technology enabled smart phones : they are able to browse the web, to be...
The famous US aerospace and aeronautics agency NASA is currently developing sensors based on graphene. The main leader of the initiative, Mahmooda Sultana, joined NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt two years ago. She had since then won research and development fundings to install graphene production facilities.
NASA's graphene production is based on Chemical Vapor Deposition a technique widely spread among the microelectronics industry. The same material, also known as CVD graphene, is developed in our labs at Graphenea.
Sultana's group is now manufacturing high quality graphene and is working on applications. For them, the most promising use of graphene is with chemical sensors.
In 2005, when Andre Geim and Philip Kim separately worked on graphene's electrons and showed that the material was showing a zero-bandgap, this came as a very curious feature that people would probably use. This zero-bandgap property makes that graphene is not a real semi-conductor and could not be used directly by the industry. Many successful attempts were made to create a band gap in graphene, by using doped graphene, nanoribbons or by using an electric field between a bi-layered graphene.
Few would have thought about bending graphene to get a band gap. However, this idea has been followed by Edward Conrad since three years now in Georgia Tech. He has been working on graphene grown on surfaces with small grooves (18 nanometers deep). When graphene is deposited over these trenches a semiconducting behavior appears. The results were published this month in the journal Nature physics and show a 0.5 electonvolts band gap.We asked Edward Conrad some questions about his last publication ....
Source : Hicks, J., Tejeda, A., Taleb-Ibrahimi, A., Nevius, M., Wang, F., Shepperd, K., Palmer, J., Bertran, F., Le Fèvre, P., Kunc, J., de Heer, W., Berger, C., & Conrad, E. (2012). A wide-bandgap metal–semiconductor–metal nanostructure made entirely from graphene Nature Physics DOI: 10.1038/nphys2487
If you are a frequent user of smartphone or tablet, you know more than others that "mobility" is a magic word. However, when was the last time your iPad was plugged to recharge its battery? Probably less than 24 hours ago. What if graphene was providing the world with a disruptive technology allowing batteries to last three times longer? This is what California Lithium Battery, a start-up based in Los Angeles, is aiming for.
Despite the obvious mobile phones/tablets market, this is not the main target of this young company. The two major sectors that California Lithium Battery wants to conquer is the one of electric vehicles and the less known grid storage facilities.