Graphene? From Any Lab

The new method does not require any specialized equipment and can be implemented in any laboratory.

Considered by many as the most promising material of the future, graphene still remains an expensive and hard-to-fabricate substance. Researchers from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, and the Interdisciplinary Research Institute in Lille developed a low cost method for manufacturing multilayered graphene sheets. The new method does not require any specialized equipment and can be implemented in any laboratory.

A low cost method for producing graphene sheets has been developed in cooperation within research project by teams from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in Warsaw and the Interdisciplinary Research Institute (IRI) in Lille, France. The method is simple enough to be provided in almost any laboratory throughout the world.

Graphene was discovered in 2004, by peeling off carbon layers from graphite using an ordinary scotch tape. “In what had been peeled off the researchers were able to find one-atom-thick sheets. And that was graphene. If we are thinking about industrial applications of graphene, we have to find better controlled methods for producing this material in a large scale, without using an expensive, specialized equipment,” says Izabela Kami?ska, a PhD student from the IPC PAS, a scholarship holder of the Foundation for Polish Science within the International PhD Projects Programme. Kami?ska has carried out her experiments at the International Research Institute.

Considering the structure, graphene is a two dimensional system composed of six-membered carbon rings. The hexagonal graphene lattice resembles a honeycomb, with the difference that the graphene sheet has the lowest possible thickness: of one atom only.

Unusual properties of graphene are closely related to the unique structure. Graphene is almost entirely transparent, more than hundred times stronger than steel and very flexible. At the same time it shows excellent thermal and electric conductivity, which makes it a good material for applications in electronics, e.g. for manufacturing thin, flexible and strong displays or fast processing circuits. It is also suitable as a material for various sensors.

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via Science Daily
 

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