Article last updated on: Oct 24, 2018

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 structure

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 Batteries news

A novel graphene sensor enables highly sensitive health monitoring

Researchers from the University of Strasbourg & CNRS (France), in collaboration with Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland) and the University of Florence (Italy), have developed a new generation of pressure sensors based on graphene and molecular “springs”. The researchers say that thanks to their highest sensitivity, these devices are ideally suited for health monitoring and point-of-care testing.


The team reports that many electroactive materials have been employed for this purpose. Among these, graphene has been the most studied because of its excellent electrical conductivity, exceptional mechanical properties and large surface area. The researchers rely envision applications of graphene-based sensors in the form of tattoos.

Manchester team adds graphene to jute fibers

Scientists from The University of Manchester have combined graphene with the natural fiber jute, to create graphene-strengthened natural jute fiber composites. The team explains that this could lead to the manufacturing of high-performance and environmentally friendly natural fiber composites that could replace their synthetic counterparts in major manufacturing areas, like the automotive industry, ship building, durable wind turbine blades and more.

Manchester team adds graphene to just fibers image

It could also boost the farming economies of countries such as Bangladesh, India, and China – where the jute material is mainly produced – the researchers from The University of Manchester claim. Jute is extracted from the bark of the white jute plant (Corchorus capsularis) and is a 100% bio-degradable, recyclable and environmentally friendly natural fiber. It is also the second most produced natural fiber in the world – after cotton – and is at least 50% cheaper than flax and other similar natural fibers.

The Graphene Catalog - find your graphene material here

Graphene oxide and alginate combine to create new ‘smart’ material with potential biomedical, environmental uses

Researchers at Brown University, the University of Wisconsin and the National University of Singapore have developed a way of reinforcing hydrogel materials made from alginate, a natural material derived from seaweeds that’s currently used in a variety of biomedical applications, by incorporating graphene oxide into its structure.

Graphene oxide and alginate combine to create new ‘smart’ material with potential biomedical, environmental uses image

This produces a material that can be 3D printed into structures that are stiffer and more fracture resistant than alginate alone - an important achievement as alginate tends to be fragile and thus hard to work with. Furthermore, the material is also capable of becoming stiffer or softer in response to different chemical treatments, meaning it could be used to make “smart” materials that are able to react to their surroundings in real time. In addition, alginate-GO retains alginate’s ability to repel oils, giving the new material potential as an anti-fouling coating.

First Graphene expands its reach to the cement industry

First Graphene has announced a new contract introducing its PureGRAPH range of graphene products into the cement industry. FGR confirmed its manufacturing partner newGen Group will supply a wear lining system for dyer chute applications to a large Australian cement producer in their Perth facility. FGR reports that each 50 sqm liner will contain 10-12kg of PureGRAPH product and is expected to be cast and installed in December.

This contract follows other recent announcements made in relation to First Graphene’s research and development collaboration with newGen. According to First Graphene, the client is a leading supplier of cement and lime to Western Australia’s mining, agriculture and construction industries.

Graphene Leaders Canada launches graphene-enhanced water treatment technology

Graphene Leaders Canada logo (2017)Graphene Leaders Canada has launched its GLC+ Water Technologies Platform, which according to the Company "offers a solution to water pollution and remediation and is based on years of expertise in graphene solutions work with a keen focus in water filtration".

The material has been developed as a loose granular adsorbent that can be integrated into existing filtration systems and can be tailored to remove numerous types of contaminants in water. The GLC+ material offers a highly versatile and cost-effective bolt-on solution with the material having the ability to be regenerated for numerous uses.

XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009 XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009