Researchers at Rice University have demonstrated the mechano-chemical assembly of functionalized graphene layers into 3D graphitic solids (“graphite pellets”) via room temperature and low energy consuming processing. The pellet material is reportedly stronger and lighter than commercial graphite electrodes and could be promising for electrical storage applications with high energy and power densities.
The environmentally friendly, scalable process can be done in minutes by hand by grinding chemically modified graphene into a powder and using a hand-powered press to squeeze the powder into a solid pellet. The team demonstrated how to make a battery-sized pellet, but the graphene powders with chemical functionalities attached to it can be pressed into any form. They said the material could be suitable for structural, catalytic, electrochemical and electronic applications.