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 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 dessicant

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.

The Graphene Handbook

Talking graphene standardization with NPL's Andrew J. Pollard

Dr. Andrew J. Pollard (NPL)In November 2017, after years of work, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released its first graphene standard, the ISO/TS 80004-13:2017. The effort was led by the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

We recently discussed this interesting and important development with the NPL's Dr. Andrew J. Pollard. Dr. Andrew leads the NPL Surface and Nanoanalysis Group's research into the structural and chemical characterization of graphene and related 2D materials, and he is also a member of the ISO working group 'Measurement and Characterization' within the 'Nanotechnologies' Technical Committee (TC229), and a UK nominated expert for the international graphene standards.

Hello Andy, and thank you for this interview. We know that NPL pioneered the effort in the new ISO standard, can you tell us why do you believe such standards are of vital importance?

As a new material that has spawned an emerging industry, graphene has the potential to improve many of the products we all use every day. However, for industry around the world to be able to develop innovative products with this two-dimensional material, they need to know what the properties actually are of the materials they are using.

IIT Madras develops rGO-based wound dressing material to treat diabetic wounds

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed reduced graphene oxide loaded nanocomposite scaffolds for treating normal and diabetic wounds.

Wounds in diabetic patients do not heal as rapidly as it would in a normal and healthy individual, which leads to chronic non-healing wounds that can result in serious complications. Treatment of such chronic non-healing wounds in diabetes is still a major clinical challenge. Although there are some wound dressings that are commercially available, they are very expensive.

Russian team develops copper-graphene oxide biosensor chips with excellent sensitivity

Researchers from the Russia-based Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology ('MIPT') have developed biosensor chips of unprecedented sensitivity, which are based on copper combined with graphene oxide instead of the conventionally used gold. In addition to making the device somewhat cheaper, this innovation will facilitate the manufacturing process.

Copper-GO biosensor chips image

The Russian research team's biosensing chip reportedly achieved unmatched sensitivity, and yet its configuration is mostly standard and therefore compatible with existing commercial biosensors, e.g. Biacore, Reichert, BioNavis, or BiOptix.

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