Tag Archives: Graphenea

A 2015 nanotechnology conference for the security and defense sectors

According to an August 25, 2015 news item on Nanotechnology Now, a security and defence conference (NanoSD 2015) will be held in September 2015 in Spain,

Nano for Security & Defense International Conference (NanoSD2015) will be held in Madrid, Spain (September 22-25, 2015). The conference will provide an opportunity to discuss general issues and important impacts of nanotechnology in the development of security and defense. A broad range of defense and security technologies and applications, such as nanostructures, nanosensors, nano energy sources, and nanoelectronics which are influencing these days will be discussed.

The NanoSD 2015 website notes this on its homepage,

After a first edition organised in Avila [Spain], NanoSD 2015 will again provide an opportunity to discuss general issues and important impacts of nanotechnology in the development of security and defense. …

It is evident that nanotechnology can bring many innovations into the defense world such as new innovate products, materials and power sources. Therefore, NanoSD 2015 will present current developments, research findings and relevant information on nanotechnology that will impact the security and defense.

The Phantoms Foundation (event organizers) August 24, 2015 press release, which originated the news item, provides a few more details,

NanoSD2015 Topics
Sensors | Textiles | Nano-Optics | Nanophotonics | Nanoelectronics | Nanomaterials | Nanobio & Nanomedicine | Energy | Nanofood | Forensic Science

Do not miss presentations from well known institutions
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA) | Ministry of Economy, Industry and Digital (France) | European Defence Agency (Belgium) | Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (Canada) | Graphenea (Spain) | Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy) | Gemalto SA (France) | ICFO (Spain) | The University of Texas at Dallas (USA) | International Commercialisation Alliance of Israel | Grupo Antolin (Spain), among others

Do not miss the opportunity to meet the key players of the Security & Defense industry. Prices starting from 350€ and 495€ for students and seniors respectively.

The deadline for poster submission is September 04.

My most recent piece on nanotechnology and security is an Aug. 19, 2014 posting about a then upcoming NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) workshop on aiding chemical and biological defenses. It took place in Sept. 2014 in Turkey.

Canada and some graphene scene tidbits

For a long time It seemed as if every country in the world, except Canada, had some some sort of graphene event. According to a July 16, 2015 news item on Nanotechnology Now, Canada has now stepped up, albeit, in a peculiarly Canadian fashion. First the news,

Mid October [Oct. 14 -16, 2015], the Graphene & 2D Materials Canada 2015 International Conference & Exhibition (www.graphenecanada2015.com) will take place in Montreal (Canada).

I found a July 16, 2015 news release (PDF) announcing the Canadian event on the lead organizer’s (Phantoms Foundation located in Spain) website,

On the second day of the event (15th October, 2015), an Industrial Forum will bring together top industry leaders to discuss recent advances in technology developments and business opportunities in graphene commercialization.
At this stage, the event unveils 38 keynote & invited speakers. On the Industrial Forum 19 of them will present the latest in terms of Energy, Applications, Production and Worldwide Initiatives & Priorities.

Plenary:
Gary Economo (Grafoid Inc., Canada)
Khasha Ghaffarzadeh (IDTechEx, UK)
Shu-Jen Han (IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA)
Bor Z. Jang (Angstron Materials, USA)
Seongjun Park (Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), Korea)
Chun-Yun Sung (Lockheed Martin, USA)

Parallel Sessions:
Gordon Chiu (Grafoid Inc., Canada)
Jesus de la Fuente (Graphenea, Spain)
Mark Gallerneault (ALCERECO Inc., Canada)
Ray Gibbs (Haydale Graphene Industries, UK)
Masataka Hasegawa (AIST, Japan)
Byung Hee Hong (SNU & Graphene Square, Korea)
Tony Ling (Jestico + Whiles, UK)
Carla Miner (SDTC, Canada)
Gregory Pognon (THALES Research & Technology, France)
Elena Polyakova (Graphene Laboratories Inc, USA)
Federico Rosei (INRS–EMT, Université du Québec, Canada)
Aiping Yu (University of Waterloo, Canada)
Hua Zhang (MSE-NTU, Singapore)

Apart from the industrial forum, several industry-related activities will be organized:
– Extensive thematic workshops in parallel (Standardization, Materials & Devices Characterization, Bio & Health and Electronic Devices)
– An exhibition carried out with the latest graphene trends (Grafoid, RAYMOR NanoIntegris, Nanomagnetics Instruments, ICEX and Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) already confirmed)
– B2B meetings to foster technical cooperation in the field of Graphene

It’s still possible to contribute to the event with an oral presentation. The call for abstracts is open until July, 20 [2015]. [emphasis mine]

Graphene Canada 2015 is already supported by Canada’s leading graphene applications developer, Grafoid Inc., Tourisme Montréal and Université de Montréal.

This is what makes the event peculiarly Canadian: multiculturalism, anyone? From the news release,

Organisers: Phantoms Foundation www.phantomsnet.net & Grafoid Foundation (lead organizers)

CEMES/CNRS (France) | Grafoid (Canada) | Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology – ICN2 (Spain) | IIT (Italy) | McGill University, Canada | Texas Instruments (USA) | Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) | Université de Montreal, Canada

It’s billed as a ‘Canada Graphene 2015’ and, as I recall, these types of events don’t usually have so many other countries listed as organizers. For example, UK Graphene 2015 would have mostly or all of its organizers (especially the leads) located in the UK.

Getting to the Canadian content, I wrote about Grafoid at length tracking some of its relationships to companies it owns, a business deal with Hydro Québec, and a partnership with the University of Waterloo, and a nonrepayable grant from the Canadian federal government (Sustainable Development Technology Canada [SDTC]) in a Feb. 23, 2015 posting. Do take a look at the post if you’re curious about the heavily interlinked nature of the Canadian graphene scene and take another look at the list of speakers and their agencies (Mark Gallerneault of ALCERECO [partially owned by Grafoid], Carla Miner of SDTC [Grafoid received monies from the Canadian federal department],  Federico Rosei of INRS–EMT, Université du Québec [another Quebec link], Aiping Yu, University of Waterloo [an academic partner to Grafoid]). The Canadian graphene community is a small one so it’s not surprising there are links between the Canadian speakers but it does seem odd that Lomiko Metals is not represented here. Still, new speakers have been announced since the news release (e.g., Frank Koppens of ICFO, Spain, and Vladimir Falko of Lancaster University, UK) so  time remains.

Meanwhile, Lomiko Metals has announced in a July 17, 2015 news item on Azonano that Graphene 3D labs has changed the percentage of its outstanding shares affecting the percentage that Lomiko owns, amid some production and distribution announcements. The bit about launching commercial sales of its graphene filament seems more interesting to me,

On March 16, 2015 Graphene 3D Lab (TSXV:GGG) (OTCQB:GPHBF) announced that it launched commercial sales of its Conductive Graphene Filament for 3D printing. The filament incorporates highly conductive proprietary nano-carbon materials to enhance the properties of PLA, a widely used thermoplastic material for 3D printing; therefore, the filament is compatible with most commercially available 3D printers. The conductive filament can be used to print conductive traces (similar to as used in circuit boards) within 3D printed parts for electronics.

So, that’s all I’ve got for Canada’s graphene scene.

Flatland, an 1884 novella or optics with graphene?

Flatland is both novella and a story about optics with graphene. First, here’s more about the novella from its Wikipedia entry (Note: Links have been removed),

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott. Writing pseudonymously as “A Square”,[1] the book used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to offer pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella’s more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions.[2]

For the uninitiated, graphene is two-dimensional and, apparently, this characteristic could prove helpful for new types of optics (from a May 23, 2014 news item on Nanowerk; Note:  Links have been removed),

Researchers from CIC nanoGUNE, in collaboration with ICFO  [Institute of Photonic Sciences] and Graphenea, introduce a platform technology based on optical antennas for trapping and controlling light with the one-atom-thick material graphene. The experiments show that the dramatically squeezed graphene-guided light can be focused and bent, following the fundamental principles of conventional optics. The work, published yesterday in Science (“Controlling graphene plasmons with resonant metal antennas and spatial conductivity patterns”), opens new opportunities for smaller and faster photonic devices and circuits.

A May 23, 2014 CIC nanoGUNE news release (also on EurekAlert), which originated the news item,

Optical circuits and devices could make signal processing and computing much faster. “However, although light is very fast it needs too much space”, explains Rainer Hillenbrand, Ikerbasque Professor at nanoGUNE and UPV/EHU. In fact, propagating light needs at least the space of half its wavelength, which is much larger than state-of-the-art electronic building blocks in our computers. For that reason, a quest for squeezing light to propagate it through nanoscale materials arises.

The wonder material graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms with extraordinary properties, has been proposed as one solution. The wavelength of light captured by a graphene layer can be strongly shortened by a factor of 10 to 100 compared to light propagating in free space. As a consequence, this light propagating along the graphene layer – called graphene plasmon – requires much less space.

However, transforming light efficiently into graphene plasmons and manipulating them with a compact device has been a major challenge. A team of researchers from nanoGUNE, ICFO and Graphenea – members of the EU Graphene Flagship – now demonstrates that the antenna concept of radio wave technology could be a promising solution. The team shows that a nanoscale metal rod on graphene (acting as an antenna for light) can capture infrared light and transform it into graphene plasmons, analogous to a radio antenna converting radio waves into electromagnetic waves in a metal cable.

“We introduce a versatile platform technology based on resonant optical antennas for launching and controlling of propagating graphene plasmons, which represents an essential step for the development of graphene plasmonic circuits”, says team leader Rainer Hillenbrand. Pablo Alonso-González, who performed the experiments at nanoGUNE, highlights some of the advantages offered by the antenna device: “the excitation of graphene plasmons is purely optical, the device is compact and the phase and wavefronts of the graphene plasmons can be directly controlled by geometrically tailoring the antennas. This is essential to develop applications based on focusing and guiding of light”.

The news release describes few of the more technical aspects of the research,

The research team also performed theoretical studies. Alexey Nikitin, Ikerbasque Research Fellow at nanoGUNE, performed the calculations and explains that “according to theory, the operation of our device is very efficient, and all the future technological applications will essentially depend upon fabrication limitations and quality of graphene”.

Based on Nikitin´s calculations, nanoGUNE’s Nanodevices group fabricated gold nanoantennas on graphene provided by Graphenea. The Nanooptics group then used the Neaspec near-field microscope to image how infrared graphene plasmons are launched and propagate along the graphene layer. In the images, the researchers saw that, indeed, waves on graphene propagate away from the antenna, like waves on a water surface when a stone is thrown in.

In order to test whether the two-dimensional propagation of light waves along a one-atom-thick carbon layer follow the laws of conventional optics, the researchers tried to focus and refract the waves. For the focusing experiment, they curved the antenna. The images then showed that the graphene plasmons focus away from the antenna, similar to the light beam that is concentrated with a lens or concave mirror.

The team also observed that graphene plasmons refract (bend) when they pass through a prism-shaped graphene bilayer, analogous to the bending of a light beam passing through a glass prism. “The big difference is that the graphene prism is only two atoms thick. It is the thinnest refracting optical prism ever”, says Rainer Hillenbrand. Intriguingly, the graphene plasmons are bent because the conductivity in the two-atom-thick prism is larger than in the surrounding one-atom-thick layer. In the future, such conductivity changes in graphene could be also generated by simple electronic means, allowing for highly efficient electric control of refraction, among others for steering applications.

Altogether, the experiments show that the fundamental and most important principles of conventional optics also apply for graphene plasmons, in other words, squeezed light propagating along a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms. Future developments based on these results could lead to extremely miniaturized optical circuits and devices that could be useful for sensing and computing, among other applications.

Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,

Controlling graphene plasmons with resonant metal antennas and spatial conductivity patterns by P. Alonso-González, A. Y. Nikitin, F. Golmar, A. Centeno, A. Pesquera, S. Vélez, J. Chen, G. Navickaite, F. Koppens, A. Zurutuza, F. Casanova1, L. E. Hueso1, and R. Hillenbrand. Science (2014) DOI: 10.1126/science.1253202 Published Online May 22 2014

This paper is behind a paywall.

You can find our more about the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) here and Graphenea, a graphene producer, here and CIC nanoGUNE here.

Spain, 1M Euros, and graphene

A Dec. 5, 2013 news item on Nanowerk features a 1M Euro investment being made in graphene in Spain,

Repsol and the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI in its Spanish initials), a body dependent on the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness, have signed an agreement with the Graphenea company through which both will invest jointly a million euros in the share capital of these technological companies.

Graphenea is a start-up company which has developed innovative technology for the production of high-quality graphene and whose products are supplied to 40 countries and to multinationals such as Nokia, Philips and Sigma-Aldrich, amongst others. This is a company which was founded in 2010, in the Basque city of Donostia-San Sebastián, by a group of private investors and the CIC nanoGUNE research centre.

Given the Spanish economy this is very interesting news (more about the economy further down), I found this about Graphenea on its About Us webpage (on the company website),

We are a leading graphene company that manufacture, produce and supply graphene for industrial and research needs. We have developed a synthesis and transfer process to obtain high uniformity monolayer graphene films on any substrate.

Industry: Nanotechnology

Function: Graphene Manufacturer, Graphene Producer, Graphene Supplier

Specialties: CVD Graphene Films, Graphene Oxide

Type: Privately Held

Founded: 2010

Address: Graphenea S.A. A75022608 Tolosa Hiribidea 76 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain. Located in the CIC nanoGune Nanoscience Research Centre

Contact

Sales – sales@graphenea.com

Job Opportunities – jobs@graphenea.com

General Enquiries – info@graphenea.com

I found this Company Profile: Overview webpage on the Repsol website,

Repsol is an integrated global energy company with vast sector experience. It carries out Upstream and Downstream activities throughout the entire world.

At Repsol we believe in innovation as an engine of change to create a new energy model. That is why we are present in areas of high energy potential such as Brazil, Russia and the U.S. Thanks to a steady, consolidated growth strategy, we have developed new and attractive areas of business within the company.

We are concerned with achieving people’s well-being and the economic growth of society; at Repsol we contribute with talent, effort and enthusiasm to building intelligent and sustainable energy solutions in the long term. And always with processes that respond to the strict controls on safety and respect for the environment.

As for the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), there’s this on the Taftie (The European Network of Innovative Agencies) website,

www.cdti.es

Mission:
The Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) is a Spanish public organisation, under the Ministry of Science and Innovation, whose objective is to help Spanish companies to increase their technological profile. It is a state-owned company, and, established in 1977, has financed more than 15,000 technology development projects so far.

CDTI is manned by more than 300 employees, three quarters of which is made up of engineers and graduates. Although the bulk of the infrastructure of CDTI is located in Madrid, the Centre has built a strategic network of offices and representatives abroad available to Spanish companies (Japan -SBTO-, Belgium -SOST and a Permanent Eureka Secretariat-, Brazil -FINEP-, Korea, Chile, Morocco, China, India, Mexico and USA) to give them support in their international technological activities.

Its main activity is to evaluate and finance technological development, innovation and modernization projects developed by Spanish companies: CDTI grants financial help of its own to companies and facilitates access to that of third parties (bank financing from the Line for the Financing of Technological Innovation) for the execution of both national and international research and development projects.

Budget:
The budget available to fund R&D&I projects managed by CDTI is about 1400 M€.

Activities:
Domestic

  • Funds market-oriented technology development with zero interest, long term loans.
  • Funds pre-competitive research projects by companies and research centres.
  • Promotes technology transfer.

lnternational
CDTI manages the Spanish participation within several industrial research and development international programs:

  • European Union R&D Programs. Head of the Spanish delegations and National Contact Point in the Thematic Priorities and Research & Innovation of FP7.
  • Eureka: National Project Coordinator (NPC), including the responsibility of approving and financing projects
  • Bilateral agreements with its foreign innovation agencies countries with the objective to promote, assist and fund the development of joint technology cooperation in areas of mutual interest.(China, Japan, India, Canada and Korea)
  • Iberoeka: National Project Coordinator (NPC). A program with similar objectives to Eureka, with 19 countries from Latin America, plus Portugal and Spain.
  • European Space Agency (ESA): Spanish delegate.
  • European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN). Spanish delegate in the Financing Committee.

So it seems the government of Spain and Repsol (an energy company) have co-invested in Graphanea presumably for the production of and/or developing applications for graphene. This investment announcement comes within days of Spain’s economic ranking being shifted from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s credit rating agencies. A Dec. 4, 2013 news item on BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) news online tells the story,

Moody’s said there had been a real improvement in the economy and government finances.

Last week, the Standard and Poor’s ratings firms also raised its outlook for Spain on signs of economic improvement.

Debt-laden Spain has emerged from a two-year recession, with export growth and companies becoming more confident.

But unemployment remains high, at 26%, and economic growth is expected to be shallow.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government is hoping economic growth will help reduce Spain’s spiralling public debt, currently 943bn euros (£792.5bn; $1.3 trillion), or more than 92% of the country’s entire gross domestic product (GDP).

Given the circumstance, this is a gutsy move and I hope, a successful one.