Article last updated on: Jan 29, 2019

What is a foam?

A foam is a substance in which gas is trapped in a liquid or a solid in pockets. There are many types of foams - for example, those used by firefighters (mostly to combat burning oils). A bread is also, at least formally, a type of foam.

Graphene Foams

Graphene foams are usually made by growing graphene using a CVD process on a 3D metal foam (structure). The metal is then removed which leaves the graphene 3D foam.

A graphene foam is strong and conductive and useful for many applications - sensors, purification/absorption materials - and more.

Graphene foams are somewhat similar to graphene aerogels, in which the liquid part of the gel is replaced by a gas (usually air).

Graphene foams are now available commercially, contact us for details.

The latest graphene foam news:

Graphene foam to potentially offer better treatment for joint diseases and eliminate the need for joint replacement

A new study out of Boise State University in the U.S may one day lead to new graphene-based treatments for osteoarthritis, potentially preventing the need for joint replacement.

The study investigates the compressive mechanical properties of graphene foam – soft tissue composites. Previous studies have shown graphene foam’s compatibility with chondrogenic cell lines for cartilage tissue engineering. This is reportedly the first study to focus on the viscoelastic behavior of the engineered tissue to test the functionality of the grown cartilage.

Rice University team creates 3D objects from graphene foam

Rice University scientists have developed a simple way to create conductive, 3D objects made of graphene foam. The resulting objects may offer new possibilities for energy storage and flexible electronic sensor applications, according to Rice chemist Prof. James Tour.

Rice team creates 3D objects from graphene foam image

The technique is an extension of groundbreaking work by the Tour lab that produced the first laser-induced graphene (LIG) in 2014 by heating inexpensive polyimide plastic sheets with a laser. The laser burns halfway through the plastic and turns the top into graphene that remains attached to the bottom half. LIG can be made in macroscale patterns at room temperature.

Researchers develop the world's first light-driven speaker using a 3D graphene sponge

A research team from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and Sapienza University in Rome developed a new loud speaker that is driven by a light signal - and without electricity. The idea is to use modulated light that shines on a 3D graphene sponge. The audio is achieved via a highly-efficient photo-mechanism.

The researchers say that unlike conventional loudspeakers, this high-fidelity photo-speaker does not rely on vibrations to produce the sound - and it does not need any type of electrical connection or complicated system for sound generation. Using an optical pulse train, this loudspeaker allows a completely digital operation for frequencies from acoustic to ultrasound.

Rice team's CNT-reinforced graphene foam is conductive and strong

Researchers at Rice University have constructed a graphene foam, reinforced by carbon nanotubes, that can support more than 3,000 times its own weight and bounce back to its original height. In addition, its shape and size are easily controlled - which the team demonstrated by creating a screw-shaped piece of the material.

The 3D structures were created from a powdered nickel catalyst, surfactant-wrapped multiwall nanotubes and sugar as a carbon source. The materials were mixed and the water evaporated; the resulting pellets were pressed into a steel die and then heated in a chemical vapor deposition furnace, which turned the available carbon into graphene. After further processing to remove remnants of nickel, the result was an all-carbon foam in the shape of the die, in this case a screw. The team said the method will be easy to scale up.

Graphene oxide-based foam to clean dirty water

Researchers at Washington University have managed to use graphene oxide sheets to create a biofoam that can transform dirty water into drinking water. Their hope is that in countries where there is a lot of sunlight, it'll be possible to take dirty water, evaporate it using this material, and collect fresh water.

This new method combines bacteria-produced cellulose and graphene oxide to form a bi-layered biofoam. The production process is said to be extremely simple, and the nanoscale cellulose fiber network produced by bacteria has excellent ability to move the water from the bulk to the evaporative surface while minimizing the heat coming down. The material is a bi-layered structure with light-absorbing graphene oxide filled nanocellulose at the top and pristine nanocellulose at the bottom. When suspended this on water, the water is actually able to reach the top surface where evaporation happens.