Article last updated on: Apr 05, 2021

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 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:

ZEN Graphene Solutions and NPNL jointly receive NSERC grant

ZEN Graphene Solutions, in partnership with Professor Mohammad Arjmand, has announced the award of a CAD$780,000 (around USD$609,600) Alliance Grant - part from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the rest from a combination of cash and in kind contributions from ZEN).

Alliance Grants are awarded through a competitive peer review process, and this proposal, titled “Synthesis of Graphene Nanomaterials and Development of Their Multifunctional Polymer Nanocomposites”, is ZEN’s highest single monetary grant award from NSERC to date and supports NSERC’s growing interest in nanomaterials.

Graphenea now offers custom graphene oxide dispersions

Graphenea recently introduced a new service for the graphene industry, a custom graphene oxide (GO) dispersion service. This service provides researchers with an opportunity to receive GO in a solvent and at a concentration which is most compatible with their application.

According to Graphenea, its GO is noted for its mechanical and thermal properties, in addition to having a high monolayer content (>95%). This service not only offers researchers the option of receiving GO in water at a custom concentration, but also GO dispersed into: Acetone, DMF, DMSO, Ethanol, IPA, Methanol, NMP, Tetra butyl-acetate, or Toluene.

Haydale reports its financial results for FY 2020

Haydale announced its financial results for FY2020 (which endd on 30 June, 2020). The group's revenues reached £2.95 million, down from £3.47 in FY 2019, but its net loss decreased to £4.02 million (down from £7.19 in 2019) as the company continues to implement cost savings measures.

Haydale's negative cash flow deceased by 31%, but the company still used up £3.32 million in the year and at the end of June had only £0.82 million in cash and equivalents. On September 2020 Haydale raised £2.98 million via a new share subscription.

New self-charging graphene-oxide ink battery is under development

Australian Advanced Materials has announced it is developing a graphene-oxide-based ink battery that is able to self-charge within minutes.

The cells will be created with a printable ink and designed to generate electricity from humidity in the air or skin surface to self-charge without any manual charging or wired power required. It was said the batteries will be ideally suited for use in Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Research team develops new method to generate precisely controlled graphene microbubbles

Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology recently teamed up with teams from National University of Singapore, Rutgers University, University of Melbourne, and Monash University, to develop a method to generate precisely controlled graphene microbubbles on a glass surface using laser pulses.

Schematic of optical setup for characterizing the GO microbubbles imageSchematic of optical setup for characterizing the GO microbubbles. Image from article

Microbubbles - around 1-50 micrometers in diameter - can have various applications like drug delivery, membrane cleaning, biofilm control, and water treatment. They've been applied as actuators in lab-on-a-chip devices for microfluidic mixing, ink-jet printing, and logic circuitry, and in photonics lithography and optical resonators. They also have great potential for other biomedical imaging and applications like DNA trapping and manipulation applications.