This couple is making beautiful music together – they’ve printed a battery made of graphene. Dr. Elena Polyakova and Dr. Daniel Stolyarov, originally from Russia, founded Graphene 3D Lab and have since moved the company to Calverton, New York. They spent more than five years researching raw materials that can be used to make a graphene battery using a 3D printer.
Graphene is a special form of carbon in which the atoms are arranged in a hexagonal lattice along a single layer. In this configuration, the carbon is 200 times stronger than steel and it conducts electricity 30 times faster than silicon. It is the latter feature that makes it ideal for making tough composites, computer chips and well, batteries. Already batteries with lives 25 percent longer than lithium-ion batteries have already been made by other researchers. Graphene 3D Lab’s design has one up on the competition, however, because it can be made anywhere and practically in any shape.
Although the prototype is able to produce the same amount of power as a common AA battery, it has already produced considerable interest from the military, as well as from the aerospace and car industries, according to Dr. Polyakova, Graphene 3D Lab’s CoO. The company’s technology allows one to print batteries to fit crooks and nannies where space is tight. It can be used to print other graphene parts. As such, this technology is very useful for space missions. Dr. Polyakova says, “That is an exotic example, but a good one. A mission of that kind requires thousands of spare parts and dozens of different battery types. Our technology could remove the need to carry replacement batteries.”
While it can find much use in command and control organizations like space agencies and the military, the company plans to empower people to make their own stuff. “We have made the first prototype and proved to ourselves that this thing can work. Now our plan is to offer the materials to consumers so they can print their own batteries,” says Dr. Daniel Stolyarov, Graphene 3D Lab’s chief technology officer and co-founder. They plan to sell the raw material, a mix of plastic and graphene, by the end of the year in time for Christmas. They will also work on a bespoke printer that can print produce a battery with a single touch.
The graphene battery was introduced to the public at the Inside 3D Printing Conference that was recently held in Santa Clara, California. The company earlier secured funding for 18 months of operations and is currently ringing the bell at the Toronto stock exchange where it is listed.
I guess that that’s another lovely sound that this couple is making.