Among the various robotic actuation mechanisms driven by different stimuli, light-driven systems have garnered more and more attention due to their advantages in wireless/remote control, localized rather than whole-field driven capabilities, and electrical/mechanical decoupling. Inspired by the photothermal effect of graphene in biomedical applications, researchers have now demonstrated an easily fabricated and remote/wireless control light-driven approach to actuation mechanism based on graphene nanocomposites.
Graphene laminate - multilayer stacks of graphene layers piled on top of each other - is a promising material for thermal coating applications. Researchers have investigated thermal conductivity of graphene laminate films deposited on PET substrates. They found that the compressed laminates have higher thermal conductivity for the same average flake size owing to better flake alignment. This shows a possibility of up to 600-times enhancement of the thermal conductivity of plastic materials by coating them with the thin graphene laminate films.
Graphene and graphene-based materials have attracted great attention in energy storage applications for batteries and supercapacitors owing to their unique properties of high mechanical flexibility, large surface area, chemical stability, superior electric and thermal conductivities that render them great choices as alternative electrode materials for electrochemical energy storage systems. A recent review article summarizes the progress in graphene and graphene-based materials for four energy storage systems, i.e., lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, lithium-sulfur batteries and lithium-air batteries.
Ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) display technology holds the promise of fast switching times, a large viewing angle, and high resolution. FLCs have a spontaneous polarization whose direction is perpendicular to the layer. This spontaneous polarization plays an imperative role in the electro-optic switching of FLCs. Researchers have now developed a technique to amplify the spontaneous polarization by doping graphene into FLCs.
Researchers consider the rational combination of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene into three-dimensional hybrids an effective route to amplify the inherent physical properties at the macroscale. By in situ nitrogen doping and structural hybridization of carbon nanotubes and graphene, researchers have now successfully fabricated nitrogen-doped aligned carbon nanotube/graphene sandwiches. In this work, aligned CNTs and graphene layers were anchored to each other, constructing a sandwich-like hierarchical architecture with efficient 3D electron transfer pathways and ion diffusion channels.
As a prime example of how the integration of multiple disparate nanotechnology fields allows the realization of novel or expanded functionalities, researchers have demonstrated a multimodal sensing device which integrates the functionalities of three traditional single mode sensors. Specifically, the team fabricated a graphene-based multimodal biosensing device, capable of transducing protein binding events into optical, electrical, and mechanical signals.
Researchers have demonstrated the experimental realization of the first all-carbon optical diode that is ready for scalable integration along with being inherently broadband in operation with no restrictions on polarization or phase-matching criteria. As they show, harnessing the optical properties of graphene-based materials offers an opportunity to create the all-photonic analogs of diodes, transistors, and photonic logic gates that will one day enable construction of the first all-photonic computer.
A three-dimensional crumpled graphene-encapsulated nickel sulfide electrode is reported as a superior high-energy lithium storage material. Compared with an electrode without crumpled graphene encapsulation, the optimized electrode yields significant improvements, especially in the cycling stability and rate capability. This enhanced performance is attributed to the 3D framework providing high continuous electron pathway and more free space for charge and mass transfer, and the stabilizing effect of the crumpled graphene based stretchy shell.