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

Graphene oxide combines with perovskite quantum dots to create artificial photosynthesis

Apr 28, 2017

Researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in China have created a composite of graphene oxide and perovskite quantum dots that can reduce CO2 when stimulated with light. It is referred to as the first known example of artificial photosynthesis based on perovskite quantum dots and GO.

Perovskites and GO make for an efficient photocatalyst image

The team prepared quantum dots – semiconductor nanoparticles – of a highly stable cesium–lead halide perovskite, as well as a composite material made of these quantum dots and graphene oxide. Both materials showed an efficient absorption of visible light and strong luminescence. The team used these products to achieve a fundamental step in artificial photosynthesis – the reduction of CO2. To simulate sunlight, they used a xenon lamp with an appropriate filter.

Non-flammable graphene oxide membrane developed for safe mass production

Apr 19, 2017

Researchers at the University of Arkansas have demonstrated a simple and scalable method for turning graphene oxide into a non-flammable and paper-like graphene membrane that can be used in large-scale production. This tackles the issue of high flammability, which has, according to the team, been an obstacle to further development and commercialization.

Using metal ions with three or more positive charges, the researchers bonded graphene-oxide flakes into a transparent membrane. This new form of material is flexible, nontoxic and mechanically strong, in addition to being non-flammable. Further testing of the material suggested that crosslinking, or bonding, using transition metals and rare-earth metals, caused the graphene oxide to possess new semiconducting, magnetic and optical properties.

Graphene for the Display and Lighting Industries

Graphene may assist in producing cells vital for nerve regeneration

Apr 11, 2017

Researchers at Iowa State University (ISU) are developing a graphene-based method to transform stem cells into Schwann-like cells (cells of great importance for various nerve regeneration efforts). If successful, this process has potential to replace the complicated and expensive process used today.

Graphene helps regenerate nerves image

The team's method uses inkjet printers to print multi-layer graphene circuits and also uses lasers to treat and improve the surface structure and conductivity of those circuits. It turns out that mesenchymal stem cells adhere and grow well on the treated circuit’s rough 3D nanostructures. With the addition of small doses of electricity – 100 millivolts for 10 minutes per day over 15 days – the stem cells become Schwann-like cells.

Graphene-Info launches the Graphene Catalog - your source for graphene materials!

Apr 05, 2017

We're proud to launch a new service - the Graphene Catalog, a revolutionary new graphene materials directory. This first-of-its-kind catalog lists graphene materials available on the market, divided into categories - graphene flakes (including reduced GO), graphene oxide, graphene sheets and 3D printing filaments.

Graphene Catalog image

So if you're looking for graphene materials, all you have to do is click here and get started. We can also help with finding a graphene developer to produce custom graphene materials. Contact us for more information.

Exeter team uses graphene oxide to design flexible and transparent memory devices

Apr 05, 2017

Researchers from the University of Exeter have developed an innovative new memory using a hybrid of graphene oxide and titanium oxide. These devices are reportedly low cost and environmentally friendly to produce, and are also suited for use in flexible electronic devices such as 'bendable' mobile phone, computer and television screens, and even 'intelligent' clothing. These devices may also have the potential to offer a cheaper and more adaptable alternative to 'flash memory', which is currently used in many common devices.

The team stated: "Using graphene oxide to produce memory devices has been reported before, but they were typically very large, slow, and aimed at the 'cheap and cheerful' end of the electronics goods market. Our hybrid graphene oxide-titanium oxide memory is, in contrast, just 50 nanometres long and 8 nanometres thick and can be written to and read from in less than five nanoseconds—with one nanometre being one billionth of a metre and one nanosecond a billionth of a second."