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

Manchester U team prints flexible GO-based supercapacitors on fabrics

Aug 14, 2017

Researchers from The University of Manchester recently demonstrated flexible graphene-based supercapacitors printed directly on to textiles using a simple screen-printing technique.

Manchester U prints GO-supercapacitors on fabrics image

The solid-state flexible supercapacitor device has been demonstrated by using conductive graphene-oxide ink to print onto cotton fabric. The printed electrodes reportedly exhibited excellent mechanical stability due to the strong interaction between the ink and textile substrate.

Masdar team reports progress of graphene-based membranes for water desalination project

Aug 06, 2017

Researchers at the UAE-based Masdar Institute, part of the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, have announced significant progress in their research in the field of optimized graphene-based membranes, which aim to make water filtration and desalination more efficient and sustainable.

The team worked to develop membranes made of layered reduced graphene-oxide sheets that are able to block the passage of salt ions in a membrane-based seawater desalination process. The spacing between the sheets is what ultimately affects the membrane’s efficacy, or its ability to filter impurities like salt ions while still permitting water molecules to pass through. The spaces between sheets must be just right – if they are too large and salt ions are not filtered out, and if they too small and even water molecules are unable to penetrate the membrane.

Graphene Supercapacitors Market Report

Graphenea announces new graphene oxide pilot plant

Jul 22, 2017

Graphenea recently announced the opening of a new graphene oxide (GO) pilot plant with 1 tonne per annum production capacity. The new plant is meant to significantly increase production capacity for Graphenea (which is already producing GO dispersions, powders, and films), while also allowing for higher quality and batch-to-batch reproducibility. The plant reportedly houses in-line quality control of each individual batch.

Graphenea's new pilot plant for GO image

Graphenea stated that although the production volume is large, the new plant can accommodate custom requirements regarding flake size, oxygen levels, and other specifications. Orders for multi-kilogram quantities will be processed with short delivery times. The production capacity is multiplied by 20 times compared to capabilities before the pilot plant, allowing for development and industrial scale supplies.

Chinese scientists design a flexible graphene-based energy storage membrane

Jul 19, 2017

Researchers from Tsinghua University in China have designed a low-cost energy storage device using a TiO2-assisted UV reduction of sandwiched graphene components. The sandwich structure consists of two active layers of reduced graphene oxide hybridized with TiO2, with a graphene oxide separator (rGO-TiO2/rGO/rGO-TiO2). In the device, the separator layer also acts as a reservoir for the electrolyte, which affects ion diffusion—a known problem for layered membrane devices—and affects both the capacity and rate performance.

Graphene flexible supercapacitor membrane process image

The team explained that a step-by-step vacuum filtration process is used to form the membrane structure, and the amount of graphene oxide used in the filtration solutions can be adjusted to precisely tune the thickness of each layer. Irradiation of the dried membrane with UV light then reduces the graphene oxide to rGO with assistance from the TiO2.

Graphene-Info's Batteries, Supercapacitors, GO, Lighting, Displays and Graphene Investments Market Reports updated to July 2017

Jul 05, 2017

Today we published a new version of all our graphene market reports. Graphene-Info provides comprehensive niche graphene market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about these niche markets. The reports are now updated to July 2017.

Graphene batteries market report 3D cover

The Graphene Batteries Market Report:

  • The advantages using graphene batteries
  • The different ways graphene can be used in batteries
  • Various types of graphene materials
  • What's on the market today
  • Detailed specifications of some graphene-enhanced anode material
  • Personal contact details into most graphene developers

The report package provides a good introduction to the graphene battery - present and future. It includes a list of all graphene companies involved with batteries and gives detailed specifications of some graphene-enhanced anode materials and contact details into most graphene developers. Read more here!

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