A simple method to create nanofluidic devices from graphene-oxide

Researchers from Northwestern University developed a new method to manufacture large-scale nanofluidic devices, using graphene-oxide. These devices feature thin channels that can transport ions (and so high electric current), and so are useful to make batteries and water purification systems.

The idea is to stack up graphene-oxide sheets to create a flexible paper-like material. Such a paper features tens of thousands of very useful channels as a gap forms naturally between neighboring sheets, and each gap is a channel through which ions can flow. Using simple, regular scissors the paper is cut into any shape you want (in the experiment they simple used rectangles). The paper shape is then incased in a polymer and holes are drilled to expose the ends. The holes are filled with electrolyte solution (a liquid containing ions) to complete the device.

Earlier this year, researchers from Northwestern discovered a way to oxidize graphene without collateral damage.

Posted: Nov 18,2012 by Ron Mertens