The Graphene 101 Workshop at the Global Graphene Expo

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One of the new additions to the Global Graphene Expo this year was the Graphene 101 workshop held by Adrian Nixon, from Nixene Publishing. This workshop was primarily aimed at those wanting to better understand what graphene is, and its applications; those who are on the fringes of the graphene industry—be it early stage researchers, students, or those who work in other industries that are interested in graphene (but don’t necessarily know much about it).

Adrian’s workshop covered a wide range of topics on graphene, including launching the Nixene graphene business journal for the first time in the United States. The graphene journal is a business-focused publication for those who are “short on time”, but wish to know what is going on in the graphene world. The journal also talks about who is manufacturing graphene and what latest developments are relevant to the reader’s personal industry.

Adrian introduced the key points of what graphene is. He spoke on how it is made, the challenges of graphene, the various properties that graphene possesses, and some of the common applications, followed by an interactive discussion with the audience on the different developments within the graphene space. Adrian gave the audience the option of graphene topics to learn about—from graphene quantum dots, to graphene in medical markets, to ‘the killer app for graphene’.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, all the topics couldn’t be covered, but the most interesting to the audience were discussed. A few topics gathered a lot of interest from multiple people in the audience so we’ll focus on them. In the medical applications section, Adrian discussed about Alexander Seifalian and the recent developments he is making with graphene-polymer prosthetics. Two topics that attracted a lot of interest were the ‘graphene crime’ and ‘killer app’.

Regarding the subject graphene crime, Adrian discussed a recent crime, in China, where a couple of people claimed that they were making graphene-based phone chargers, but the product was just a box with some black powder in it (and all the results were falsified). Adrian also discussed how Andre Geim had supposedly endorsed some underpants that contained graphene. Andre visited an event where they were being sold with his endorsement and was not impressed and challenged them. The company has since retracted their claims of endorsement from a Nobel Prize winning scientist.

On the ‘killer app’ subject, Adrian discussed the potential of single crystal graphene to be used in space elevator applications, in particular, as the tether. Adrian has documented this subject well over the last few years and has even talked about the potential of a graphene tether at the International Space Elevator Consortium’s (ISEC) conference earlier this year. This talk was a short representation of the developments in this field, and I’d recommend anyone interested in this area to check out Adrian’s work on this subject, which can be found on the Nixene Publishing site, Nixor Limited, Investor Intel and AZoNetwork’s media sites.

In conclusion, the workshop had a purpose in educating those who were not as informed on what graphene could do and the industries it could impact. While the audience was limited this year (as many were already actively involved in the graphene space), this workshop could be something that becomes popular at the next few events. Since the NGA has been able to bring all the big graphene players together for the first time, the plan for the next few years is to bring together companies from end-user markets that may be looking to implement graphene in their products. Many of the future attendees may not have the knowledge about graphene, or the potential that graphene could bring their products, so a workshop like this could be a great way to communicate the potential of graphene to these industries before they are subjected to two days full of graphene-based talks—it may be a way to transition them into the industry without them getting overly confused about graphene, which could be the case if they attend without knowing much about it. Obviously, this won’t be the case for everyone, but for those who don’t have much knowledge of graphene, or the industry, this workshop could act as an invaluable introduction to the area.

Written by NGA Board Member, Liam Critchley

About the National Graphene Association (NGA)

The National Graphene Association is the main organization and body in the U.S. advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene. NGA is focused on addressing critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in effective integration of graphene and graphene based materials globally. NGA brings together current and future graphene stakeholders — entrepreneurs, companies, researchers, developers and suppliers, investors, venture capitalists and government agencies — to drive innovation, and to promote and facilitate the commercialization of graphene products and technologies.

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