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July 27, 2009
Volume 87, Number 30
p. 46
First appeared online July 22, 2009

Materials Science

Making Graphene In A Flash

Exposing precursor to a burst of camera light induces fast photoreduction

Mitch Jacoby

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Philip Goins/Northwestern U
Bright Idea In a flash, graphite oxide, a brown electrical insulator, is converted into graphene, a conductor. By using masking techniques, flash-reduction can be used to make the patterns shown at the end of the video.
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Laura Cote/Northwestern U
SCHOOL PRIDE This logo was made by masking a portion of a graphite oxide film (brown) and exposing the remainder to light from a camera flash, which reduces the material to graphene (black).

No time to make graphene via conventional routes? Then make it "in a flash."

Northwestern University scientists have just demonstrated that graphite oxide can be converted instantly to graphene via photothermal deoxygenation by exposing the material to a pulse of light from an ordinary camera flash (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja902348k).

Because of its low cost and wide availability, graphite oxide is a promising precursor for making graphene-based materials, which are being studied for use in polymer composites and electronics. The oxide is typically treated at high temperature or with potent reducing agents such as hydrazine to yield graphene.

Now, Laura J. Cote, Rodolfo Cruz-Silva, and Jiaxing Huang of Northwestern have shown in a video that the flash method is an instantaneous, chemical-free way to transform graphite oxide, an electrical insulator, into graphene, a conductor, at room temperature.

The team has also shown that by applying masking and photolithography methods, the flash technique can be used to fabricate complex patterns, a key step in developing electronic components.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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Bright Idea

In a flash, graphite oxide, a brown electrical insulator, is converted into graphene, a conductor. By using masking techniques, flash-reduction can be used to make the patterns shown at the end of the video.

Philip Goins/Northwestern U
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
  • Print this article
  • Email the editor

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