The researchers in Jonathan Claussen’s lab at Iowa State University (who like to call themselves nanoengineers) have been looking for ways to use graphene and its amazing properties in their sensors and other technologies.
Graphene is a wonder material: The carbon honeycomb is just an atom thick. It’s great at conducting electricity and heat; it’s strong and stable. But researchers have struggled to move beyond tiny lab samples for studying its material properties to larger pieces for real-world applications.
Recent projects that used inkjet printers to print multi-layer graphene circuits and electrodes had the engineers thinking about using it for flexible, wearable and low-cost electronics. For example, “Could we make graphene at scales large enough for glucose sensors?” asked Suprem Das, an Iowa State postdoctoral research associate in mechanical engineering and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory.
But there were problems with the existing technology. Once printed, the graphene had to be treated to improve electrical conductivity and device performance. That usually meant high temperatures or chemicals – both could degrade flexible or disposable printing surfaces such as plastic films or even paper.
Das and Claussen came up with the idea of using lasers to treat the graphene. Claussen, an Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering and an Ames Laboratory associate, worked with Gary Cheng, an associate professor at Purdue University’s School of Industrial Engineering, to develop and test the idea.
And it worked: They found treating inkjet-printed, multi-layer graphene electric circuits and electrodes with a pulsed-laser process improves electrical conductivity without damaging paper, polymers or other fragile printing surfaces.
“This creates a way to commercialize and scale-up the manufacturing of graphene,” Claussen said.
The findings are featured on the front cover of the journal Nanoscale’s issue 35. Claussen and Cheng are lead authors and Das is first author. Additional Iowa State co-authors are Allison Cargill, John Hondred and Shaowei Ding, graduate students in mechanical engineering. Additional Purdue co-authors are Qiong Nian and Mojib Saei, graduate students in industrial engineering.
Two major grants are supporting the project and related research: a three-year grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 11901762 and a three-year grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. Iowa State’s College of Engineering and department of mechanical engineering are also supporting the research.
The Iowa State Research Foundation Inc. has filed for a patent on the technology.
“The breakthrough of this project is transforming the inkjet-printed graphene into a conductive material capable of being used in new applications,” Claussen said.
Those applications could include sensors with biological applications, energy storage systems, electrical conducting components and even paper-based electronics.
To make all that possible, the engineers developed computer-controlled laser technology that selectively irradiates inkjet-printed graphene oxide. The treatment removes ink binders and reduces graphene oxide to graphene – physically stitching together millions of tiny graphene flakes. The process makes electrical conductivity more than a thousand times better.
“The laser works with a rapid pulse of high-energy photons that do not destroy the graphene or the substrate,” Das said. “They heat locally. They bombard locally. They process locally.”
That localized, laser processing also changes the shape and structure of the printed graphene from a flat surface to one with raised, 3-D nanostructures. The engineers say the 3-D structures are like tiny petals rising from the surface. The rough and ridged structure increases the electrochemical reactivity of the graphene, making it useful for chemical and biological sensors.
All of that, according to Claussen’s team of nanoengineers, could move graphene to commercial applications.
“This work paves the way for not only paper-based electronics with graphene circuits,” the researchers wrote in their paper, “it enables the creation of low-cost and disposable graphene-based electrochemical electrodes for myriad applications including sensors, biosensors, fuel cells and (medical) devices.”
The Latest on: Graphene
via Google News
The Latest on: Graphene
- High-speed femtosecond laser plasmonic lithography of graphene oxide filmon May 27, 2020 at 8:39 am
Graphene analogues such as graphene oxide (GO) and its reduced forms (rGO) are fascinating carbon materials due to the complementary properties endowed by the sp3-sp2 interconversion, revealing the ...
- How Graphene Battery Market is Seeking Business across Emerging Regionson May 25, 2020 at 4:09 pm
"Browse 36 Market Data Tables and 34 Figures spread through 96 Pages and in-depth TOC on "Graphene Battery Market"" Graphene Battery Market by Type (Lithium-Ion Graphene Battery, Lithium-Sulfur ...
- Improving the mechanical behavior of reduced graphene oxide/hydroxyapatite nanocomposites using gas injection into powders synthesis autoclaveon May 22, 2020 at 2:32 am
In this study, we show the synthesis of reduced graphene oxide/hydroxyapatite (rGO/HA) composites using a hydrothermal autoclave with argon-15% hydrogen gas injection. This both increases the ...
- Graphene shows promise as solar sail material in ESA testson May 19, 2020 at 8:34 pm
ESA engineers are looking at using the world's thinnest known material to build lighter, more efficient solar sails. By making sails out of one-atom-thick graphene sheets, the space agency aims to ...
- Global Graphene Electronics Market Size Analysis and Outlook (2018 to 2026) - Potential Opportunities, Companies and Forecastson May 19, 2020 at 3:20 am
The "Graphene Electronics Market Size Analysis and Outlook to 2026 - Potential Opportunities, Companies and Forecasts for types of materials and.
- Insights into the Worldwide Graphene Electronics Industry to 2026 - COVID-19 has had a Negative Impact on the Market - ResearchAndMarkets.comon May 19, 2020 at 2:08 am
The multi-client study on Global Graphene Electronics markets provides in-depth research and analysis into Graphene Electronics industry trends, market developments and technological insights. The ...
- Graphene makes carbon fiber stronger, stiffer and possibly cheaperon May 18, 2020 at 11:28 pm
With superb strength and stiffness and a relatively low weight, carbon fibers are the type of material engineers would love to use for all kinds of things, not just top-end bicycles and cars, and ...
- Highly efficient charge-to-spin interconversion in graphene heterostructureson May 18, 2020 at 7:42 am
KAIST physicists described a route to design the energy-efficient generation, manipulation and detection of spin currents using nonmagnetic two-dimensional materials. The research team, led by ...
- An electronic nose using a single graphene FET and machine learning for water, methanol, and ethanolon May 17, 2020 at 3:09 pm
A sensor combined with machine learning algorithms makes an effective ‘electronic nose’ to distinguish different gases, according to research from the United States. The new approach, developed by a ...
via Bing News