Navigation Links
Penn physicists develop scalable method for making graphene
Date:3/2/2011

PHILADELPHIA New research from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates a more consistent and cost-effective method for making graphene, the atomic-scale material that has promising applications in a variety of fields, and was the subject of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.

As explained in a recently published study, a Penn research team was able to create high-quality graphene that is just a single atom thick over 95% of its area, using readily available materials and manufacturing processes that can be scaled up to industrial levels.

"I'm aware of reports of about 90%, so this research is pushing it closer to the ultimate goal, which is 100%," said the study's principal investigator, A.T. Charlie Johnson, professor of physics. "We have a vision of a fully industrial process."

Other team members on the project included postdoctoral fellows Zhengtang Luo and Brett Goldsmith, graduate students Ye Lu and Luke Somers and undergraduate students Daniel Singer and Matthew Berck, all of Penn's Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences.

The group's findings were published on Feb. 10 in the journal Chemistry of Materials.

Graphene is a chicken-wire-like lattice of carbon atoms arranged in thin sheets a single atomic layer thick. Its unique physical properties, including unbeatable electrical conductivity, could lead to major advances in solar power, energy storage, computer memory and a host of other technologies. But complicated manufacturing processes and often-unpredictable results currently hamper graphene's widespread adoption.

Producing graphene at industrial scales isn't inhibited by the high cost or rarity of natural resources a small amount of graphene is likely made every time a pencil is used but rather the ability to make meaningful quantities with consistent thinness.

One of the more promising manufacturing techniques is CVD, or chemical vapor deposition, which involves blowing methane over thin sheets of metal. The carbon atoms in methane form a thin film of graphene on the metal sheets, but the process must be done in a near vacuum to prevent multiple layers of carbon from accumulating into unusable clumps.

The Penn team's research shows that single-layer-thick graphene can be reliably produced at normal pressures if the metal sheets are smooth enough.

"The fact that this is done at atmospheric pressure makes it possible to produce graphene at a lower cost and in a more flexible way," Luo, the study's lead author, said.

Whereas other methods involved meticulously preparing custom copper sheets in a costly process, Johnson's group used commercially available copper foil in their experiment.

"You could practically buy it at the hardware store," Johnson said.

Other methods make expensive custom copper sheets in an effort to get them as smooth as possible; defects in the surface cause the graphene to accumulate in unpredictable ways. Instead, Johnson's group "electropolished" their copper foil, a common industrial technique used in finishing silverware and surgical tools. The polished foil was smooth enough to produce single-layer graphene over 95% of its surface area.

Working with commercially available materials and chemical processes that are already widely used in manufacturing could lower the bar for commercial applications.

"The overall production system is simpler, less expensive, and more flexible" Luo said.

The most important simplification may be the ability to create graphene at ambient pressures, as it would take some potentially costly steps out of future graphene assembly lines.

"If you need to work in high vacuum, you need to worry about getting it into and out of a vacuum chamber without having a leak," Johnson said. "If you're working at atmospheric pressure, you can imagine electropolishing the copper, depositing the graphene onto it and then moving it along a conveyor belt to another process in the factory."


'/>"/>

Contact: Evan Lerner
elerner@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Physicists isolate bound states in graphene-superconductor junctions
2. UCSB physicists challenge classical world with quantum-mechanical implementation of shell game
3. Physicists take new look at the atom
4. Rice physicists discover ultrasensitive microwave detector
5. UC Riverside physicists pave the way for graphene-based spin computer
6. UBC, Max Planck formalize partnership among worlds top quantum physicists
7. Physicists capture first images of atomic spin
8. U-M physicists create first atomic-scale map of quantum dots
9. Physicists at UC Santa Barbara make discovery in quantum mechanics
10. NYU physicists find way to explore microscopic systems through holographic video
11. Nanophysicists find unexpected magnetic effect
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... NextSteps ... and North America this May on the following dates: , ?    London, ... Taylor, Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute will be the opening ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... , April 26, 2017  Genisphere LLC, ... platform, has signed a collaborative and sponsored research ... Silvia Muro . The overall goal of ... pharmacodynamics of various 3DNA designs and formulations after ... targeting diseases of the vasculature as well as ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... supplier of Common Lisp (CL) development tools, and market leader for Semantic ... key performance enhancements now available within the most effective system for developing and ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... , April 25, 2017 ... has licensed its novel immune-modulating technology to an undisclosed ... and allergy. Tregitopes, pronounced TĀ·rejĀ·itopes, are ... immunoglobulin by EpiVax CEO Annie De Groot ... intravenous immunoglobulin G, an autoimmune disease therapy, Tregitopes ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/6/2017)... , April 6, 2017 Forecasts ... ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government ... Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, ... Other) Are you looking for a definitive ... ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis ... a statistically significant association between the potency ... and objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. ... whether cancer patients will respond to CAR-T ... as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... -- The report "Video Surveillance Market by ... Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, Installation ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued at ... reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR ... considered for the study is 2016 and the forecast ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):