Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Graphene oxide paper could spawn a new class of materials

27.07.2007
Nearly 2,000 years ago, the discovery of paper revolutionized human communication. Now researchers at Northwestern University have fabricated a new type of paper that they hope will create a revolution of its own -- and while it won't replace your notepad, this remarkably stiff and strong yet lightweight material should find use in a wide variety of applications.

In a paper to be published July 26 in the journal Nature, researchers led by Rod Ruoff, John Evans Professor of Nanoengineering in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, report on the development of graphene oxide paper.

Ruoff's research team was the first to develop graphene-based composite materials, which was reported in Nature last year. Graphene -- a sheet of carbon only one atom thick -- has the potential to serve as the basis of an entirely new class of materials.

"The mechanical, thermal, optical and electrical properties of graphene are exceptional," says Ruoff. "For example, the stiffness and strength of these graphene-like sheets should be superior to all other materials, with the possible exception of diamond."

To form the graphene oxide paper, the group oxidized graphite to create graphite oxide, which falls apart in water to yield well-dispersed graphene oxide sheets. After filtering the water, the team was able to fabricate pieces of graphene oxide 'paper' more than five inches in diameter and with thicknesses from about one to 100 microns, in which the individual micron-sized graphene oxide sheets are stacked on top of each other.

"I have little doubt that very large-area sheets of this paper-material could be made in the future," Ruoff notes.

In addition to their superior mechanical properties as individual sheets, the graphene oxide layers stack well, which could be key to the development of other materials.

"You can imagine that these microscale sheets may be stacked together and chemically linked, allowing us to further optimize the mechanical properties of the resulting macroscale object," Ruoff says. "This combination of excellent mechanical properties and chemical tunability should make graphene-based paper an exciting material."

Of further interest are the electrical properties of the graphene oxide paper in comparison to graphene sheets. "When we oxidize the graphene sheets to create graphene oxide, the material goes from being an electrical conductor to an electrical insulator," Ruoff says. "This is an important step and in the future it will be possible to tune the material as a conductor, semiconductor or insulator. One will be able to control the electrical properties without sacrificing exceptional mechanical properties."

Ruoff sees a wide variety of applications for graphene oxide paper, including membranes with controlled permeability, and for batteries or supercapacitors for energy applications. Graphene oxide paper could also be infused to create hybrid materials containing polymers, ceramics or metals, where such composites would perform much better than existing materials as components in, for example, airplanes, cars, buildings and sporting goods products.

The development of this paper-like material is the latest of several recent advancements by Ruoff's team in launching the new field of graphene-based materials. In a paper in the July issue of Nano Letters, the group reported that graphene sheets could be embedded into glass films to make them electrically conductive. These transparent thin films could find applications in solar cells or a variety of transparent electronics such as electronic paper and flexible color screens. The processing of these films may provide a cheaper alternative to the widely used indium tin oxide coatings that are typically used as the transparent conductive film.

Megan Fellman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Switched-on DNA
20.02.2017 | Arizona State University

nachricht Using a simple, scalable method, a material that can be used as a sensor is developed
15.02.2017 | University of the Basque Country

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>