Graphene in Electronics
Given its superior conductivity over gold, copper and silver, conductive inks with functionalised graphene have the potential to be used in printed electronics applications for creating bus bars in photovoltaics, printing electrodes in sensors and circuits, printing RFID antennas, and creating smart packaging, where graphene offers a cheaper alternative to silver-based inks.
Conductive inks are the key element to printed electronics, and the field for printed electronics is broad. Haydale’s range of graphene functional inks have applications in flexible electronics such as touch screen displays, electronic paper, RFID antennas and electrodes for circuits.
Smart packaging has the potential to use graphene-enhanced inks to produce RFID devices and printed electronics as smart tags to transmit data from the packaging to the consumer about the packaged material through, for instance, refrigerator displays, as well as monitoring the condition and quality of the packaged products such as food freshness by relaying relevant information and spoilage indicators such as time, temperature, and pH or the presence of different gases, chemical contaminants, pathogens, etc.
Batteries and Fuel Cells
There is a substantial market pull to find better materials for the future generation of batteries driven by the automotive sector and growth in electric vehicles (EVs).
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are currently a very heavy weight component of electric vehicles. Because graphene is impermeable even to hydrogen atoms yet allows protons to flow through easily, it can be incorporated into battery technology to enhance efficiency and reduce weight.
The impermeable properties of graphene make it a suitable material for hydrogen storage and Haydale has been working with Viritech to develop nano-enhanced epoxy resins for hydrogen storage vessels. The resin can act as a permeation barrier for the storage vessel, but the functionalised graphene also potentially offers greatly enhanced mechanical properties including impact and interlaminar sheer to improve the overall performance of the vessel.
The focus is on a Type V, linerless pressure vessel for the FCVGEN2.0 project awarded to Ford for the design, development and build of hydrogen fuel cell powered Transit vans.
Currently the need for an inner liner in composite pressure vessels to act as an impermeable barrier adds significant weight. Haydale’s functionalised graphene materials and resins removes the need for an inner liner delivering considerable weight savings. The technology will have wide application in automotive, aerospace, and marine industries.