Researchers from Japan's Okayama University developed a new way to produce graphene oxide (GO) using microwave irradiation. The current method of producing GO uses the Hummers methods which involves oxidation with KMnO4 and NaNO3 in concentrated H2SO4 - and this requires a long reaction time and large amounts of reagents.

The researchers say that microwave irradiation of the natural graphite flakes before oxidation starts improves the efficiency of the oxidation process. The researchers filed for a patent in Japan (No.5098064) to cover this new technology.