Article last updated on: Jan 29, 2019

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

The latest graphene oxide news:

ZEN Graphene Solutions signs agreement with Chemisar Laboratories for consulting and new graphene development center

Zen Graphene Solutions logo imageZEN Graphene Solutions has signed an agreement with Chemisar Laboratories to provide various consulting services which will include the use of 2,300 square feet of office and laboratory space in Guelph, Ontario starting October 1, 2019. This office will become the company’s new graphene research and development center which will include a small-scale graphene processing and production facility. Additional space is available in the building which will allow ZEN to grow as needed.

In the coming months, ZEN is aiming to setup small-scale graphite purification and graphene-related production facilities including Graphene Quantum Dots (GQD’s) and Graphene Oxide (GO). These products will be available for research and development, application development and for commercial use.

Graphene oxide to help regenerate cartilage

Researchers from the University of Manchester have found that incorporating graphene oxide into three-dimensional scaffolds that support regenerating cartilage could offer a new means of delivering vital growth factors.

Schematic for GO-assisted chondrogenesis image

Damage to cartilage from injury or disease is difficult to remedy because of the material’s low capacity for self-repair. Future treatments hope to harness tissue-engineering approaches, introducing hydrogel scaffolds impregnated with stem cells that can proliferate and differentiate into chondrocytes, to make new cartilage. This strategy requires the appropriate biological cues to drive cell differentiation, but the results of various attempts to achieve sustained delivery of such signals have been disappointing.

Will graphene oxide be the answer to mosquito bites?

A new study by Brown University shows that graphene sheets can block the signals mosquitoes use to identify a potential blood 'donor', which may enable a new chemical-free approach to mosquito bite prevention.

Graphene oxide may be the answer to mosquito bites image

The researchers showed that multilayer graphene can provide a two-fold defense against mosquito bites. The ultra-thin yet strong material acts as a barrier that mosquitoes are unable to bite through. At the same time, experiments showed that graphene also blocks chemical signals mosquitoes use to sense that a blood meal is near, blunting their urge to bite in the first place. The findings suggest that clothing with a graphene lining could be an effective mosquito barrier, the researchers say.

A combination of strong and weak GO flakes can yield stronger GO paper

Researchers from Northwestern University have recently shown that graphene oxide “paper” can be made by mixing strong, solid GO flakes with weak, porous GO flakes. This finding may aid the production of higher quality GO materials, and also sheds light on a general problem in materials engineering: how to build a nano-scale material into a macroscopic material without losing its desirable properties.

Large single layers of GO wrinkle easily, leaving breakable gaps. Small, hard flakes don’t integrate well imageLarge single layers of GO wrinkle easily, leaving breakable gaps. Small, hard flakes don’t integrate well. image by Northwestern

“To put it in human terms, collaboration is very important,” said Jiaxing Huang, Northwestern Engineering professor of materials science and engineering, who led the study. “Excellent players can still make a bad team if they don’t work well together. Here, we add some seemingly weaker players and they strengthen the whole team.”

Graphene-Info's Batteries, Supercapacitors, Graphene Oxide, Lighting, Displays and Graphene Investments Market Reports updated to July 2019

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 2019.

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!