The method uses graphite to produce individual graphene-based sheets with exceptional physical, chemical and barrier properties that could be mixed into materials such as polymers, glasses and ceramics.
The Northwestern team, led by materials scientist and physical chemist Rod Ruoff and composed of chemists, physicists and engineers, reports the results of their research in the July 20 issue of the journal Nature.
"This research provides a basis for developing a new class of composite materials for many applications, through tuning of their electrical and thermal conductivity, their mechanical stiffness, toughness and strength, and their permeability to flow various gases through them," said Ruoff, professor of mechanical engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. "We believe that manipulating the chemical and physical properties of individual graphene-based sheets and effectively mixing them into other materials will lead to discoveries of new materials in the future."
The Northwestern team's approach to its challenge was based on chemically treating and thereby "exfoliating" graphite to individual layers. Graphite is a layered material of carbon with strong chemical bonds in the layers but with moderately weak bonds between the layers. The properties of the individual layers have been expected to be exceptional because the "in-plane" properties of graphite itself are exceptional, but until now it was not possible to extract such individual layers and to embed them as a filler material in materials such as polymers, and particularly not by a scalable route that could afford large quantities.
There are approximately one million metric tons of graphite sold annually around the world, and there are roughly 800 million metric tons of untapped natural graphite that could be mined and used in the future, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Graphite is used in a wide variety of applications such as those related to friction (brake linings are one example), in gaskets, as a lubricant, and as an electrode material in the making of steel.
Megan Fellman | EurekAlert!
New concept for structural colors
18.05.2018 | Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg
Saarbrücken mathematicians study the cooling of heavy plate from Dillingen
17.05.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology