Researchers from Rice University developed a new chemical process that is used to create a tough, ultra-light foam in any size and shape. The new foam (called GO-0.5BN) is made from two 2D materials: graphene oxide and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) platelets.

This foam can be used as structural component in applications such as electrodes for supercapacitors and batteries and gas absorption material.

h-BN (an insulator also known as white-graphene) has the same lattice as graphene and it can form seamless interfaces with graphene and so enable hybrid GO-hBN materials. The researchers were actually surprised that the GO and h-BN self-assembled into an ordered, layered structure. This structure leads to some very interesting properties - for example the ability to withstand a great deal of strain and bounce back to the original form.

In past years we've seen several interesting research projects that developed graphene based foams - including China's Graphene Aerogel material which is the world's lightest material ever made, a graphene foam that can detect explosives and an extremely highly conductive graphene foam.

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