Article last updated on: Jul 27, 2021

What is Graphene Oxide?

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 is considered to be the strongest material in the world, as well as one of the most conductive to electricity and heat. Graphene has endless potential applications, in almost every industry (like electronics, medicine, aviation and much more).

An ideal graphene sheet image

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 vs Graphene scheme

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

The latest graphene oxide news:

Researchers take a closer look at a mysterious graphene oxide phenomenon

A team of researchers at UNSW has observed a unique phenomenon in graphene oxide (GO). The oxygen atoms in GO are normally attached in a rather chaotic way. At elevated temperatures, however, the oxygen atoms form more organized structures – by themselves. This process of ‘self-organization’ was found to drastically improve various properties of GO – for example, its electrical conductivity.

UNSW scientists solve decade-old graphene oxide puzzle image

For years, researchers have been aware that this phenomenon existed, but they could only demonstrate it using computational simulations. The new research, led by Dr. Rakesh Joshi at UNSW, successfully observed it for the first time in real life, using cutting-edge electron microscopy. While common microscopes use light to create a magnified image, electron microscopes use electrons. With this type of microscope, it is possible to observe single atoms, by magnifying what you’re looking at by a factor of 1,000,000.

G6 Materials reports positive test results on its GO-based air purifier tech

G6 Materials has announced the results of an antimicrobial efficacy test on a prototype of its proprietary graphene-based air purifier, conducted by a US-based microbiological laboratory of The Intertek Group. The test reportedly showed that the concentration of pathogenic microorganisms present in the testing chamber was reduced by 99.9% over the duration of the experiment.

G6 Materials Air Purifier Prototype Reduces Pathogenic Microorganisms image

Two different pathogens were randomly chosen to be tested under each experiment, which were the E. coli bacteria and the Phi-X174 bacteriophage. The duration of the test was set to two hours.

Recent research and industry news on graphene oxide

Graphene oxide (GO), a form of graphene that includes oxygen-containing groups, has been the focus of much talk and speculation lately - most of which centered around its potential use in medical contexts.

Graphene Oxide vs Graphene scheme

However, GO is an interesting material all on its own, with great potential for various other uses and applications. It is studied for use in areas like membranes for audio devices and water filtration, sensors, solar cells, batteries and more.

How concerned should we be about graphene's toxicity?

The potential toxicity of graphene and graphene oxide has been on people's minds lately. This is an area that has always received some attention, but recently there have been rumors and wild speculations about the adoption of graphene oxide and the risks involved.

Grapene toxicity poll results (August 2021)

Researchers have been studying the toxicity of graphene and graphene oxide for many years. While these materials have not yet been established as completely safe for use, there are quite a few research results that indicate that graphene can be relatively safe under the appropriate conditions.

Graphenea Foundry: a platform for the manufacture of graphene-based devices

This is a sponsored post by Graphenea

Graphenea’s Semiconductor catalogue spans from 1x1 cm2 single layer graphene films on a variety of substrates, to fully customized graphene-based device architectures implemented on wafers up to 150mm. The unique vertical integration that Graphenea offers, that covers the graphene growth, its transfer, its device fabrication and post-processing, allows Graphenea to have full control of the manufacturing process, continuously monitoring this through quality control processes and checkpoints.

GFET wafers (Graphenea)

Graphenea Foundry offers three products and services, which cover all the graphene needs one may have.