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-Info's Batteries, Supercapacitors, Graphene Oxide, Lighting, Displays and Graphene Investments Market Reports updated to July 2018

Today we published new versions 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 2018.

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!

Researchers use graphene oxide and coal waste to create concrete

Washington State University researchers have attempted to find a solution to the problem of fly ash, a waste product of coal-based electricity generation and a known environmental and waste management issue. Xianming Shi, associate professor in WSU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and graduate student Gang Xu, have used graphene in their new method that makes use of fly ash for the production of concrete.

The durable new concrete eliminates the use of cement, which is known to be harmful to the environment. Instead of cement, the fly ash is used as a binder in the concrete. By doing this, Shi and Xu are able to tackle two environmental issues with one solution.

The Graphene Handbook

Chalmers team demonstrated graphene films with higher thermal conductivity than that of graphite films

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, have developed a graphene assembled film that has over 60% higher thermal conductivity than graphite film – despite the fact that graphite consists of many layers of graphene. The graphene film shows great potential as a novel heat spreading material for form-factor driven electronics and other high power-driven systems. The IP of the high-quality manufacturing process for the graphene film belongs to SHT Smart High Tech AB, a spin-off company from Chalmers, which is going to focus on the commercialization of the technology.

Until now, many scientists in the graphene research community have assumed that graphene assembled film cannot have higher thermal conductivity than graphite film. Single layer graphene has a thermal conductivity between 3500 and 5000 W/mK. If you put several graphene layers together, then it theoretically becomes graphite.

Graphene Flagship team uses GO to stretch the limits of gas separation

Researchers associated with the Graphene Flagship have reported overcoming the theoretical limiting performance of membranes in gas separation. This collaborative research from CNR, University of Bologna and Graphene-XT has potential applications in hydrogen purification and carbon capture and storage.

Graphene Flagship team uses graphene to improve gas separation image

The team explains that polymer-based membranes for gas separation have a trade-off between high gas permeability and high gas selectivity, the so-called Robeson upper bound. By combining individual graphene oxide sheets with polymer spacers, in a sandwich style structure, the researchers have been able to overcome this limit, separating gas quickly and efficiently.

UNSW team develops novel graphene-oxide-based desiccant

Researchers at the Austraila-based UNSW have developed a graphene-based material that could revolutionize moisture control in applications as diverse as electronics, packaging and air conditioning – and which could also be used to keep footwear fresh.

The new dessicant, made from graphene oxide, is reported to significantly outperform current drying agents, and is twice as absorbent as the industry standard, silica gel. “This is a stable new material that shows significant gains in adsorption capacity over conventional desiccants,” says the team.

Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!