High quality industrial graphene

Graphene is made of carbon and has remarkable properties. Some are summarized in the press release for the awarded Nobel Prize for Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov  for “groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene” in 2010.

As a material it is com- pletely new – not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. As a conductor of electricity it performs as well as copper. As a conductor of heat it outperforms all other known materials. It is almost completely transparent, yet so dense that not even helium, the smallest gas atom, can pass through it. Carbon, the basis of all known life on earth, has surprised us once again.

Possible applications for supercapacitors which can be charged in seconds and as battery material make graphene very exciting for the energy storage industry. However, graphene was first produced using plain scotch tape and industrial approaches so far were not very successful.

A very recent publication in Science with the title “Wafer-Scale Growth of Single-Crystal Monolayer Graphene on Reusable Hydrogen-Terminated Germanium” describes a new technique which allows to produce high quality graphene sheets in industrial setting. The current procedure requires the usage of 10 % diluted hydrofluoric acid (HF). It would be advantageous to use a less aggressive chemical. The synthesis is illustrated in the video below.

This video illustrates the newly discovered technique to produce single crystal graphene sheets. The removal of the graphene sheet is omitted in this video.

Before, single crystal graphene sheets were very expensive and industrial scalable applications were not in reach. The newly published findings by Samsung (SAIT) and Sungkyunkwan University provide the ground work for application oriented research.

photo credit: CORE-Materials with cc