Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Liquid method: pure graphene production

Date:
June 1, 2010
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Researchers have unveiled a new method for producing bulk quantities of pure, one-atom-thick sheets of carbon called graphene. The research could lead to novel, flexible electronics, carbon composites and touch-screen displays.

In a development that could lead to novel carbon composites and touch-screen displays, researchers from Rice University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology today unveiled a new method for producing bulk quantities of one-atom-thick sheets of carbon called graphene.

The research is available online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

When stacked together, graphene sheets make graphite, which has been commonly used as pencil lead for hundreds of years. It wasn't until 2004 that stand-alone sheets of graphene were first characterized with modern nanotechnological instruments. Since then, graphene has come under intense scrutiny from materials scientists, in part because it is both ultrastrong and highly conductive.

"There are high-throughput methods for making graphene oxide, which is not as conductive as graphene, and there are low-throughput methods for making pure graphene," said lead co-author Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry at Rice. "Our method yields very pure material, and it is based on bulk fluid-processing techniques that have long been used by the chemical industry."

Pasquali said the research team found it could dissolve graphite in chlorosulphonic acid, a common industrial solvent. The researchers had to devise new methods to measure the aggregation of the dissolved graphene flakes, but at the end the team was pleasantly surprised to find that the individual graphene layers in the graphite peeled apart spontaneously. The team was able to dissolve as much as two grams of graphene per liter of acid to produce solutions at least 10 times more concentrated than existing methods.

The researchers took advantage of novel cryogenic techniques for electron microscopy that allowed them to directly image the graphene sheets in the chlorosulfonic acid.

"We applied new methods that we had developed to directly image carbon nanotubes in acid," said co-author Yeshayahu "Ishi" Talmon, professor of chemical engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. "This was no small feat considering the nature of the acid and the difficulty of specimen preparation and imaging."

Using the concentrated solutions of dissolved graphene, the scientists made transparent films that were electrically conductive. Such films could be useful in making touch screens that are less expensive than those used in today's smart phones. In addition, the researchers also produced liquid crystals.

"If you can make liquid crystals, you can spin fibers," said study co-author James Tour, Rice's T.T. and W.F. Chao Professor of Chemistry. "In liquid crystals, the individual sheets align themselves into domains, and having some measure of alignment allows you to flow the material through narrow openings to create fibers."

If the method proves useful for making graphene fibers in bulk, it could drive down the cost of the ultrastrong carbon composites used in the aerospace, automotive and construction industries.

The research was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Department of Energy, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Welch Foundation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the USA-Israel Binational Science Foundation. Co-authors include Natnael Behabtu, Jay Lomeda, Micah Green, Amanda Higgenbotham, Alexander Sinitskii, Dmitry Kosynkin, Dmitri Tsentalovich and Nicholas Parra-Vasquez, all of Rice's Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology; and Judith Schmidt, Ellina Kesselman and Yachin Cohen, all of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Natnael Behabtu, Jay R. Lomeda, Micah J. Green, Amanda L. Higginbotham, Alexander Sinitskii, Dmitry V. Kosynkin, Dmitri Tsentalovich, A. Nicholas G. Parra-Vasquez, Judith Schmidt, Ellina Kesselman, Yachin Cohen, Yeshayahu Talmon, James M. Tour & Matteo Pasquali. Spontaneous high-concentration dispersions and liquid crystals of graphene. Nature Nanotechnology, 30 May 2010 DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2010.86

Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Liquid method: pure graphene production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100530144017.htm>.
Rice University. (2010, June 1). Liquid method: pure graphene production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100530144017.htm
Rice University. "Liquid method: pure graphene production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100530144017.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins