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3D Graphene Foam - How does it Meet Industry Demands?

Dec 22, 2020 10:00:00 AM / by Sean Lightheart

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3D Graphene compared to 2DG

Graphene has the potential for problem-solving across countless fields of human endeavour and is cause for very real excitement. The term “graphene” can be legitimately used to describe widely different forms of material depending on the context and graphene can be produced by several techniques. What others are calling "graphene" is often actually graphene oxide that has been chemically or thermally reduced.

The oxygen in graphene oxide provides a sort of chemical handle that makes the graphene easier to work with but reduces the material's mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties in comparison to of unmodified, pure graphene.

 

It also significantly increases the cost to manufacture the material. Oxidizing graphite requires adding expensive hazardous chemicals, such as anhydrous sulfuric acid and potassium peroxide, followed by a lengthy series of manipulations to isolate and purify the products, known as a chemistry workup.

 

Each method has its own benefits and related drawbacks. Most tend to suffer from low scalability and high costs due to factors such as high temperature, pressure, energy and precursor beneficiation costs i.e., gas. The quality of graphene produced by the various techniques described can vary widely.

 

While stabilised graphene composite materials have countless potential uses in fields as varied as aircrafts, electronics, and biotechnology, the best and most coveted form of graphene is pure graphene. The pre-eminence of pristine graphene means no defects, impurities or voids that make it ideal for use in so many applications but the issue facing industry is the lack of accessible pure graphene products.

 

What are the current uses of graphene in the marketplace?

 

To date, relatively few graphene products have reached the market and until recently those that have been commercialised mainly incorporate graphene additives to enhance toughness, conductivity and flexibility. Most volume-based graphene producers target the conductive additives market for their materials, for application in batteries, composites, conductive inks and paints/coatings.

 

It is still difficult to predict the exact shape of the coming graphene industry, but regardless of the details, for the world at large, the benefits of graphene will likely become apparent within the next decade. One factor that will determine the advancement of the graphene revolution will be the use of pure 3D Graphene Foam which is currently only commercially available from Integrated Graphene. The production process of their unique 3D Graphene Foam, Gii, can produce the highest-grade quality graphene available. Gii is produced at low cost, at room temperature, on any surface and because of this, the process is entirely scalable.

 

The uses of scalability and reproducibility of 3D Graphene Foam, Gii

 

The high-value applications of graphene such as high-frequency transistors and integrated circuitry have still not reached full commercial realisation, due to high production costs and the finite scalability of synthesis methods.

 

This revolutionary process enables the 3D graphene to be grown at high speeds with a reduced number of steps thus dramatically lowering the inherent variability and removing stacking, aggregation and cost issues. All aspects of the 3D graphene process can be scaled into automated manufacturing lines using existing technology and manufacturing stations.

 

Properties of 3D Graphene Foam, Gii

 

3D graphene ideally suited to miniaturisation, custom designs and bespoke modification for application. By changing the structure of say, the electrode surface or the pore structure allows graphene to be customised to exploit the properties to suit the application. Gii also benefits from an extremely large electrochemically active surface area making it an ideal material for charge transfer and/or storage of electricity applications.

 

Advantages of 3D Graphene Foam in supercapacitors

 

There is currently a strong market demand for energy storage devices, especially those with high power and energy density. Integrated Graphene’s 3D Graphene Foam, Gii, has led to the development of an Internet of Things (IoT) sized supercapacitor module that can be charged in minutes and will be suitable for use in wearable IT devices. Integrated Graphene’s Gii-Cap device is capable of super-fast charging while storing comparatively high power for supercapacitors. It is also recyclable, does not require the use of harmful sourcing and is fully customisable in design.

 

By enabling devices with tailored electronic properties, Integrated Graphene can boost the operating capabilities of supercapacitors beyond existing performance values to create a device that is truly competitive with the other high-performance battery systems.

 

Advantages of 3D Graphene in biosensors

 

Integrated Graphene’s next generation of biosensor, Gii-Sens, leverages the world-leading performance of 3D Graphene Foam to increase sensing capabilities whilst also reducing the overall cost of the assay by removing the requirement for expensive optical readers, halving the number of expensive reagents required (such as antibodies) and enables true amplification and label-free, real-time health monitoring at the point of need. The ability to capitalise on the miniaturisation of sensors for integration within wearables and continuous monitoring implants is driving the economic impact that Gii-Sens can make in the field of biosensing.

 

Presently, point of care tests need substantial improvement in terms of sensitivity, selectivity, longevity, low cost, reproducibility and ease of integration with other systems. Gii-Sens is an enhanced 3D graphene-enhanced electrode that when an OEM’s detection chemistries for the desired target molecule are applied, provides world-leading in the limit of detection, selectivity and reproducibility for the desired target molecule. Furthermore, the electrical method of detection means ease of multiplexed results and elimination of expensive optical readers, significantly reduces the cost of each assay.

 

Want to know how to access graphene technology? Get in touch with us, we are dedicated to enabling the next generation of future products.

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Tags: 3D Graphene Foam

Sean Lightheart

Written by Sean Lightheart

Sean Lightheart is the Marketing Manager for Integrated Graphene