Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cork the key to unlocking the potential of graphene

Date:
December 4, 2012
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
Scientists have taken inspiration from one of the oldest natural materials, cork, to engineer graphene, which normally exists layers one atom thick, into useful 3D forms for the first time.

Scientists have taken inspiration from one of the oldest natural materials to exploit the extraordinary qualities of graphene, a material set to revolutionise fields from computers and batteries to composite materials.

Published December 4 in Nature Communications, a Monash University study led by Professor Dan Li has established, for the first time, an effective way of forming graphene, which normally exists in very thin layers, into useful three-dimensional forms by mirroring the structure of cork.

Graphene is formed when graphite is broken down into layers one atom thick. In this form, it is very strong, chemically stable and an excellent conductor of electricity. It has a wide range of potential applications, from batteries that are able to recharge in a matter of seconds, to biological tissue scaffolds for use in organ transplant and even regeneration.

Professor Li, from the Department of Materials Engineering, said previous research had focused mainly on the intrinsic properties and applications of the individual sheets, while his team tackled the challenge of engineering the sheets into macroscopically-useable 3D structures.

"When the atomic graphene sheets are assembled together to form 3D structures, they normally end up with porous monoliths that are brittle and perform poorly," Professor Li said.

"It was generally thought to be highly unlikely that graphene could be engineered into a form that was elastic, which means it recovers well from stress or pressure."

The researchers used cork, which is lightweight yet strong, as a model to overcome this challenge.

PhD student, Ling Qiu, also from the Department of Materials Engineering, said modern techniques have allowed scientists to analyse the structure of such materials and replicate nature's efficient design.

"The fibres in cork cell walls are closely packed to maximise strength and individual cells connect in a honeycomb structure which makes the material very elastic," Mr Qiu said.

Using a method called freeze casting, the researchers were able to form chemically modified graphene into a 3D structure that mimicked cork. The graphene blocks produced were lighter than air, able to support over 50,000 times their own weight, good conductors of electricity and highly elastic -- able to recover from over 80 per cent deformation.

"We've been able to effectively preserve the extraordinary qualities of graphene in an elastic 3D form, which paves the way for investigations of new uses of graphene -- from aerospace to tissue engineering," Professor Li said.

"Mimicking the structure of cork has made possible what was thought to be impossible."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ling Qiu, Jeffery Z. Liu, Shery L.Y. Chang, Yanzhe Wu, Dan Li. Biomimetic superelastic graphene-based cellular monoliths. Nature Communications, 2012; 3: 1241 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2251

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Cork the key to unlocking the potential of graphene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204112211.htm>.
Monash University. (2012, December 4). Cork the key to unlocking the potential of graphene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204112211.htm
Monash University. "Cork the key to unlocking the potential of graphene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204112211.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
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