Graphene may well form the core of the next generation of technologies, and it's a potential bridge towards ultra-durable materials, superconductors and high-performance storage devices.
The science behind the material is that it's entirely composed of carbon atoms very similar to graphite. While graphite is a crystalline arrangement containing around 3 million layers of graphene, graphene is a nearly two-dimensional crystal with the thickness of a single atom. Each of those atoms is arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb with just 0.1 nanometers between each atom and a thickness of only 0.3 nanometers.
Highly conductive, strong and possessing a high specific surface area, graphene is being studied around the world and researchers have already created a graphene oxide yarn they say can be used in a wide range of applications, from clothing that monitors the wearer's environment for dangerous chemicals, to furnishings that alter their appearance in response to ambient light levels.
There are now more than 10,000 patents pending around the world for graphene-based technologies and processes.
At a facility in Calverton, NY, outfitted with material processing and analytical equipment, researchers are developing graphene-enhanced materials aimed at using the 3D printing process to fabricate functioning batteries inside objects during the build process.
Graphene 3D Lab Inc. says their 3D printed graphene battery might potentially outperform a conventional battery in such applications because the shape, size and specifications can be easily adjusted to fit a particular device design. The company has three US patent applications pending for the technology.
CEO Daniel Stolyarov presented and outlined the development of the 3D printable graphene batteries this week at a conference in Santa Clara, CA.
"Our ability to create a 3D printable battery – and other electrochemical devices – will play a significant role in the growth of commercial applications of 3D printing technology," Stolyarov said.
Graphene 3D Lab develops and manufactures proprietary, graphene-based, nanocomposite materials for various types of 3D printing including some used in fused filament fabrication. The company also designs and manufactures 3D printers and related products.