3D printed ‘super batteries’ from graphene ink!

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-08/10/graphene-3d-printed-super-batteries

‘Super batteries’ to be 3D printed from graphene ink

Manchester Metropolitan University is embarking on a project to 3D print “super batteries” from graphene ink.

Wonder material graphene has been widely talked about in terms of its suitability for use in batteries, due to its impressive conductivity, but scientists have struggled with the fact it also has a relatively small surface area, which affects capacity.

3D printing, where layers of graphene are assembled on top of one another, maximising surface area in the process, offers a solution. Now researchers at MMU are analysing techniques for printing with conductive graphene ink, in order to try and create batteries, supercapacitors and other energy storage devices with the help of a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

“We’re trying to achieve a conductive ink that blends the fantastic properties of graphene with the ease of use of 3D printing to be manipulated into a structure that’s beneficial for batteries and supercapacitors,” explains Craig Banks, a professor of electrochemical and nanotechnology and leader of the three and a half-year project. The batteries and supercapacitors would be used to power phones and tablets, or for solar, wind and wave power storage.

“Energy storage systems (ESS) are critical to address climate change and, as clean energy is generated through a variety of ways, an efficient way to store this energy is required,” says Banks, whose work on graphene’s conductivity has been cited over 9,000 times, making him one the world’s most-cited scientists. “Lithium and sodium ion batteries and super/ultracapacitors are promising approaches to achieve this. This project will be utilising the reported benefits of graphene — it is more conductive than metal — and applying these into ESS.”

The combination of the conductivity from the graphene and the 3D nature of the structures, which have “high surface areas, good electrical properties and hierarchical pore structures/porous channels”, should increase the storage capabilities of batteries to meet future demands.

As well as working on the graphene ink, the 3D printing process also must be refined. It currently relies on each layer of graphene being left to “cure” for an hour before the next layer can be applied. Banks is hoping to find a method to speed this process up, perhaps by using UV light. “Ideally, we could have the brilliant scenario where you just plug in and go — printing whatever structure you want out of graphene from a machine on your desk,” he says.

Graphene was discovered in 2004 at the University of Manchester, which has recently become the home of the National Graphene Institute — a £61 million building to house the university’s groundbreaking work. This particular research will be taking place at MMU rather than at the University of Manchester, but it is yet another project that shows the city remains a world-renowned centre for research graphene.

wired.co.uk

by KATIE COLLINS | 10 AUGUST 15

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3D printing revolutionizing electronics

Another leap forward in the 3D printing of electronics: 3D printing of graphene batteries!!!

If perfected, this technology could shrink the physical size of batteries, leading to new and exciting design possibilities for electronic equipment of all kinds! 🙂

http://3dprint.com/13788/3d-printed-graphene-batteries/

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One of the more common questions I hear, from those just beginning to find an interest in the 3D printing space, goes something like this: “When will we be able to 3D print a smartphone?”

Although such a thought brings up ideas and visions written about in popular science fiction novels, more than likely over the next couple of decades such a feat will in fact be plausible. The rate of advancement we are seeing within the 3D printing space is astonishing, to put it mildly. Every day new breakthroughs are being achieved, and ideas which seemed impossible only a few short years ago are becoming commonplace.

There has already been several successful attempts at 3D printing electronic components and circuitry, and progress is being made in the area of multimaterial printing. One area which will need to advance before we see complex portable electronics being fabricate through additive manufacturing, is that of battery manufacturing. The 3D printing of a battery isn’t a new concept.

There have been attempts and mild successes in the past, however, one company may be on the verge of a breakthrough.

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Yesterday, Graphene 3D Lab Inc.announced that they have filed a provisional patent application related to 3D printable batteries, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The batteries, which are based on the super material known as graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, could outperform even some of the best energy storage devices on the market today, according to the company.

“The application filed by Graphene 3D has the potential to play an important role in achieving the ability to print electronic devices due to the necessity of providing a power source,” stated Daniel Stolyarov, CEO of Graphene 3D. “Expanding our IP portfolio in this area is an important step in keeping with Graphene 3D’s primary goal of creating an ecosystem for 3D printing functional devices with advanced materials.”

The Vancouver based company, which is a spinout from Graphene Laboratories, Inc, focuses their efforts on the development and manufacturing of materials for 3D printing which have been enhanced with graphene. They are not alone in trying to merge the areas of additive manufacturing with that of graphene. In fact, there are several companies who are actively working on 3D printer filaments which are infused with super material, as well as other applications for the graphene within the 3D printing space. A 3D printed graphene based battery, however, could be even a bigger game changer for several industries. The ability to 3D print a battery allows for custom shapes to be introduced into the world of electronics where companies are trying to cram as many components into the smallest space possible.

“A 3D printed battery can be incorporated into a 3D printed object during the building process,” explained Stolyarov. “In addition, 3D printed batteries have several advantages over traditional batteries. Their shape, size and specifications can be freely adjusted to fit the particular design of the device. Our batteries are based on graphene and can potentially outperform conventional batteries. Graphene 3D plans to perform live demonstrations of our 3D printed batteries.”

It will be interesting to see how far along the company is, and just what they have achieved. The date of such a demonstration has yet to be announced. Let’s hear your thoughts on this possible game changing application for 3D printing in the 3D printed battery forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | SEPTEMBER 3, 2014

Conductive filament?

Liquid plastic and graphene (a material used to transmit electrical signals) may soon become printable, meaning that we could print entire phones or tablets at a go. Check out the link for more!

http://www.pocket-lint.com/…/129491-3d-print-an-entire-phon…

While 3D printing is taking off it still suffers from low resolution that leaves visible join lines on objects and plastics limit what can be printed. That could be about to change after liquid plastic and graphene filament has been discovered meaning we could soon be printing conductive materials for an entire gadget like a phone in one go.

Stephen Mills started an Indiegogo campaign, which is current not live, aiming to fund this new filament. Currently extruder nozels need to melt plastic strips before the liquid comes out and cools hard. This new liquid means no need to melt as it’s sealed and reacts to air to harden.

This new method should mean far smaller nozels which are capable of printing much more accurately. The liquid plastic will be printed at higher resolutions meaning the finish is far smoothers, leaving the final product looking more like the smooth virtual model finish.

Beyond plastic Mills claims he has also cracked graphene printing. This is a big deal as it could mean a fast and cheap method for printing graphene. Graphene is able to transmit electric signals meaning 3D printing complete computers, processors and all, could be just around the corner.

References:

POCKET-LINT.COM