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-based sensor may improve the diagnosis and treatment of asthma

May 22, 2017

Rutgers University scientists have created a graphene-based sensor that could lead to earlier detection of asthma attacks and improve the management respiratory diseases, possibly preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

Rutgers team's graphene sensor to diagnose asthma image

The Rutgers team aims for the sensor to pave the way for the development of devices - possibly resembling fitness trackers - which people could wear and then know when and at what dosage to take their medication.

Tackling graphene oxide's flammability issue may open the door to various applications

May 21, 2017

Researchers from the University of Arkansas have tackled the issue of graphene oxide's flammability; The team explains that scaling up the production of graphene-based materials is often problematic and dangerous due to GO's tendency to become explosive once airborne, so solving this problem may prove important.

In their work, the team established a relatively simple method to cross-link GO with Al3+ cations, in one step, into a freestanding flexible membrane. This membrane resists in-air burning on an open flame, at which non-cross-linked GO was burnt out within ∼5 s. With the improved thermal and water stabilities, the cross-linked GO film can help advance high-temperature fuel cells, electronic packaging, etc.

Graphene Handbook

Zenyatta Ventures announced successful testing of its material in Si-G anodes for Li-ion batteries

May 17, 2017

Zenyatta Ventures has announced the successful testing of its graphene oxide material by a U.S. based advanced materials company developing silicon-graphene anodes for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries.

Zenyatta stated that preliminary results showed the ease of processing with its graphene oxide and similar electrochemical performance compared to the control material that is currently being used by the U.S. company. Zenyatta's high-purity graphite was recently converted to graphene oxide and then sent to the U.S. collaborator for testing as an advanced nano-material in a new Lithium-ion battery.

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.

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