Researchers from Rice University in Texas found a new way to make graphene from graphite oxide. The team have carried out a thorough analysis of NMR spectroscopic data on graphite oxide to identify the various oxygen structures present within the material, and then worked out an efficient way to eliminate them by reduction.

Graphene made by novel reduction strategy imageGraphene made by novel reduction strategy image

The team used this information to devise a novel reduction strategy by first deoxygenating the graphite oxide sheets with sodium borohydride, followed by dehydration with concentrated sulphuric acid, and a final step of heating, or annealing. They say that their new method makes for more 'pure' graphite that any other reduction method.