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What is graphene?

Graphene is a material made of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons. Graphene is so thin that it is considered two dimensional. Graphene's flat honeycomb pattern gives it many extraordinary characteristics, such as being the strongest material in the world, as well as one of the lightest, most conductive and transparent. Graphene has endless potential applications, in almost every industry (like electronics, medicine, aviation and much more).

An ideal graphene sheet image



The single layers of carbon atoms provide the basis for many other materials. Graphite, like the substance found in pencil lead, is formed by stacked graphene. Carbon nanotubes are made of rolled graphene and are used in many emerging applications from sports gear to biomedicine.

What is graphene oxide?

As graphene is expensive and relatively hard to produce, great efforts are made to find effective yet inexpensive ways to make and use graphene derivatives or related materials. Graphene oxide (GO) is one of those materials - it is a single-atomic layered material, made by the powerful oxidation of graphite, which is cheap and abundant. Graphene oxide is an oxidized form of graphene, laced with oxygen-containing groups. It is considered easy to process since it is dispersible in water (and other solvents), and it can even be used to make graphene. Graphene oxide is not a good conductor, but processes exist to augment its properties. It is commonly sold in powder form, dispersed, or as a coating on substrates.

Graphene oxide is synthesized using four basic methods: Staudenmaier, Hofmann, Brodie and Hummers. Many variations of these methods exist, with improvements constantly being explored to achieve better results and cheaper processes. The effectiveness of an oxidation process is often evaluated by the carbon/oxygen ratios of the graphene oxide.

Graphene oxide uses

Graphene Oxide films can be deposited on essentially any substrate, and later converted into a conductor. This is why GO is especially fit for use in the production of transparent conductive films, like the ones used for flexible electronics, solar cells, chemical sensors and more. GO is even studied as a tin-oxide (ITO) replacement in batteries and touch screens.

Graphene Oxide has a high surface area, and so it can be fit for use as electrode material for batteries, capacitors and solar cells. Graphene Oxide is cheaper and easier to manufacture than graphene, and so may enter mass production and use sooner.

GO can easily be mixed with different polymers and other materials, and enhance properties of composite materials like tensile strength, elasticity, conductivity and more. In solid form, Graphene Oxide flakes attach one to another to form thin and stable flat structures that can be folded, wrinkled, and stretched. Such Graphene Oxide structures can be used for applications like hydrogen storage, ion conductors and nanofiltration membranes.

Graphene oxide is fluorescent, which makes it especially appropriate for various medical applications. bio-sensing and disease detection, drug-carriers and antibacterial materials are just some of the possibilities GO holds for the biomedical field.

Buy Graphene Oxide

Graphene oxide is relatively affordable and easy to find, with many companies that sell it. It does, however, get confusing since different companies offer products that vary in quality, price, form and more - making the choice of a specific product challenging. If you are interested in buying GO, contact Graphene-Info for advisement on the right GO for your exact needs!

Further reading

Latest Graphene Oxide news

Experts roundup: on Graphene Oxide for composites

Aug 19, 2016

Last month we launched a new feature - Experts Roundup. In this feature we ask graphene professionals to answer a short graphene related question. Last month's question was "will CVD ever be a viable commercial way to produce graphene?" and we got great response to that. Hopefully this month feature will be just as good.

applications of composites image

In the growing field of graphene-enhanced composites, especially plastics, how does graphene oxide fit in? Does it have any significant advantages over graphene?

Ian Fuller, VP business development & engineering, Angstron Materials : I would classify graphene oxide as a functionalized graphene nanomaterial. Functionalization, in general, allows for tailored nanomaterials for applications such as polymer nanocomposites. The oxygen-based groups on the surface of graphene oxide often promote coupling between the polymer and the nanomaterial leading to enhanced properties such as strength and quality of dispersion (however, electrical and thermal conductivity are often reduced). Similarly, other functional groups can be added to the surface of a graphene platelet to customize it for a range of applications and polymers.

Grapeheneall starts selling low-cost GO and rGO

Aug 14, 2016

The Korean Grapheneall recently started to produce graphene oxide and reduced GO, in a low price that is enabled by the company's new oxidation and purification process that helps to decrease acidic waste. The company set up a factory and started production of GO and rGO in ton scale per month.

Grapheneall's SEM image of GO Grapheneall's SEM image of GO

The unique purification process is said to be simple and take just one hour, as opposed to many other purification processes that are more time consuming. Grapheneall's production line is an automated system that is able to check and save real-time conditions, which assists the company in controlling the progress of production.

Graphene Handbook

Graphene 3D Lab to start selling a new single-layer graphene oxide material

Jul 31, 2016

Graphene 3D Labs logoGraphene 3D Lab announced that it will be selling a new single-layer graphene oxide material under the trade name of “ORG-GO”.

The new material can reportedly be easily dissolved in a variety of organic solvents to achieve ultrahigh concentrations. ORG-GO also boasts outstanding thermal stability. G3L expects that the ORG-GO product line will find numerous applications such as being a reinforcement for polymers and nanocomposites as well as for the preparation of high-performance graphene inks and coatings.

Graphene oxide to enable ultrafast disposable humidity sensors

Jul 31, 2016

Researchers at A*STAR have designed a low-cost, stable and ultrafast graphene oxide-based responsive humidity sensor that is said to be easy to manufacture, overcoming the challenge of producing a simple, fast and highly sensitive version. The ability to monitor and control humidity levels using accurate and reliable sensors is essential for efficient manufacturing and storage practices as well as everyday life.

A*STAR team creates GO humidity sensors image

Unlike most humidity sensors, which are electronic and require a power supply, GO-based colorimetric sensors respond to humidity levels by changing color that can be easily observed. For greater accuracy, the change in color can be quantitatively measured by analyzing the reflection spectra of the sensor. Because the GO sensor operates at the atomic level, it can rapidly respond to moisture changes.

The Sixth Element opens a European office, we talk with its new sales director

Jul 28, 2016

Bernhard Münzing photoThe Sixth Element Materials Technology is a Chengzhou, China based company that develops and produces graphene and graphene oxide materials. The company recently opened a sales office in Europe, and appointed Bernhard Münzing as sales director.

Bernhard was kind enough to participate in an interview with graphene-info. Bernhard is an industrial engineer with a focus on chemistry, who has held different positions in sales, materials management, marketing and business development in big as well as medium sized chemical companies.

Q: We understand that The Sixth Element (T6E) currently produces graphene flakes and graphene oxide, in a 100 ton/year plant in Chengzhou. Is that correct? Can you tell us anything regarding the current production plant?