Researchers from Sweden have shown how nano-scrolls can be created by doping graphene with nitrogen and adding magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. This new material may have very good properties for application as electrodes (for Li-Ion batteries and other devices).

To create the scrolls, the researchers doped graphene with nitrogen atoms. This enable them to anchor iron oxide particles using a solution process. The process enables to control the type of iron oxide nanoparticles that are formed on the graphene surface. It's possible to form a hematite (the reddish form of iron oxide that often is found in nature) or maghemite (a less stable and more magnetic form of iron oxide).

When the researchers formed a maghemite, the graphene spontaneously formed perfect Archimedean nano scrolls. With less magnetic decoration, the graphene remained a flat sheet. The process is efficient as almost 100% of the graphene sheets were scrolled. If you treat the material with acid, it removes the iron oxide particles and the nanoscrolls open up to normal graphene sheets.