Batteries have been a basic tool of society for millennia. One of the earliest ‘batteries’ found has been dated to around 250BC from Mesopotamian origin. Through the centuries other ‘batteries’ have been developed to meet the need of the era.
Today, we depend on batteries to power our technology and keep our lifestyles mobile. Lithium-ion batteries have provided that energy and endurance for almost 30 years. However, the biggest drawback of lithium-ion batteries is that they contain flammable electrolytes, which can cause explosions resulting in fire. In the 1990s, the danger was largely relegated to educating the public about battery storage and disposal. Yet, now, 20+ years later in a world with accelerating technological advancements, the danger of lithium-ion batteries can touch on our daily life – from exploding smartphones, to laptops and even electric vehicles.
This is where graphene becomes relevant. Graphene is the thinnest, strongest and most flexible material known. It is 200 times stronger than steal, 97% transparent, extremely light in weight, flexible and stretchable. It’s non-flammable and highly conductive – and that makes graphene a great material for today’s battery needs.
Awareness of graphene began in 1859, and the material has been studied theoretically since 1947. As technology as advanced, the single graphene layers were able to be observed directly by microscopy. Research into graphene exploded in the early 2000s.
Nanotech Energy owns the world’s first graphene patent, which was filed in May 2002 by Dr. Richard Kaner, Nanotech co-founder and UCLA professor of Chemistry and of Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Kaner filed the patent two years prior to the notable graphene work of Nobel laureates Geim and Novoselov.