2004 was the birth year of the new material called graphene. Graphene can be created in various methods in the lab, but the scale-up has remained a challenge for scientists. Additionally, graphene remains suspended in solution, which further limits its use in industry. Now two new ways of graphene production are presented that mark a next step in the scale-up of graphene production.
The first method, presented in the Nature materials journal, is a new technique to grow single-crystal arrays of graphene. These single crystals can be used as a replacement – and a more efficient one at that – for silicon in high-performance electronics and computers. Its creators used the chemical vapor deposition process, currently widely used for the creation of large graphene films in such a way that it enabled them to create an ordered array of millions of single crystals of graphene with seeds.
Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Mânao have come up with a second method to scale up production, but this time to produce super long, ultra- pure graphene films. The method does not need a binder like most current methods, but ‘simply’ transforms graphite powder into graphene film. The film can be manufactured in a continuous roll, making it easier to transport without the need of special shipping and packaging.
All in all these are probably just two small steps in graphene’s conquest of the world, with many interesting advances to be followed.
© Jorn van Dooren | www.bitsofscience.org