New Technology could help in Industrial Scale Production of Graphene

New Technology could help in Industrial Scale Production of Graphene

Researchers from Penn State University have suggested an improved technique for industrial scale production of Graphene. Scientists have termed Graphene as a wonderful material with interesting properties which could be a game-changer in the electronics industry. However, industrial scale production of graphene has remained a major bottleneck in improvement of the technologies based on Graphene.

Penn State University team has published a paper in the journal Nature Chemistry, suggesting new technique using intercalation, by inserting guest ions between carbon layers of graphite. This can later be used to pull out single layer of carbon atoms. The single layer, packed carbon atoms structure gives strength to graphene and also allows conductivity.

Lead researcher Thomas E. Mallouk, Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry, Physics, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State, said, “There are lots of layered materials similar to graphene with interesting properties, but until now we didn’t know how to chemically pull the solids apart to make single sheets without damaging the layers.”

The research project was carried out in partnership with Research Center for Exotic Nanocarbons at Shinshu University, Japan. First time, intercalation technique for graphene was used by Nina Kovtyukhova in 1999. The current project was supported by US Army Research Office grant.

Professor Mallouk added that intercalation in boron nitride and graphene could be used for many other layered materials. The intercalation technique for graphite was first tested in 1841 but the oxidizing agent would always cause damage to the layers of the material.

The research team from Penn State University includes Nina I. Kovtyukhova, Yuanxi Wang, Ayse Berkdemir, Mauricio Terrones, Vincent H. Crespi, and Thomas E. Mallouk. Rodolfo Cruz-Silva from the Research Center for Exotic Nanocarbons, Shinshu University, Nagano, Japan also helped the US research team.

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