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Graphene: Powder, Flakes, Ribbons, and Sheets.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23276286     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Graphene's unique physical and electrical properties (high tensile strength, Young's modulus, electron mobility, and thermal conductivity) have led to its nickname of "super carbon." Graphene research involves the study of several different physical forms of the material: powders, flakes, ribbons, and sheets and others not yet named or imagined. Within those forms, graphene can include a single layer, two layers, or ≤10 sheets of sp(2) carbon atoms. The chemistry and applications available with graphene depend on both the physical form of the graphene and the number of layers in the material. Therefore the available permutations of graphene are numerous, and we will discuss a subset of this work, covering some of our research on the synthesis and use of many of the different physical and layered forms of graphene. Initially, we worked with commercially available graphite, with which we extended diazonium chemistry developed to functionalize single-walled carbon nanotubes to produce graphitic materials. These structures were soluble in common organic solvents and were better dispersed in composites. We developed an improved synthesis of graphene oxide (GO) and explored how the workup protocol for the synthesis of GO can change the electronic structure and chemical functionality of the GO product. We also developed a method to remove graphene layers one-by-one from flakes. These powders and sheets of GO can serve as fluid loss prevention additives in drilling fluids for the oil industry. Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) combine small width with long length, producing valuable electronic and physical properties. We developed two complementary syntheses of GNRs from multiwalled carbon nanotubes: one simple oxidative method that produces GNRs with some defects and one reductive method that produces GNRs that are less defective and more electrically conductive. These GNRs can be used in low-loss, high permittivity composites, as conductive reinforcement coatings on Kevlar fibers and in the fabrication of large area transparent electrodes. Using solid carbon sources such as polymers, food, insects, and waste, we can grow monolayer and bilayer graphene directly on metal catalysts, and carbon-sources containing nitrogen can produce nitrogen-doped graphene. The resulting graphene can be transferred to other surfaces, such as metal grids, for potential use in transparent touch screens for applications in personal electronics and large area photovoltaic devices. Because the transfer of graphene from one surface to another can lead to defects, low yields, and higher costs, we have developed methods for growing graphene directly on the substrates of interest. We can also produce patterned graphene to make GNRs or graphane/graphene superlattices within a single sheet. These superlattices could have multiple functions for use in sensors and other devices. This Account only touches upon this burgeoning area of materials chemistry, and the field will continue to expand as researchers imagine new forms and applications of graphene.
Dustin K James; James M Tour
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-12-31
Journal Detail:
Title:  Accounts of chemical research     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1520-4898     ISO Abbreviation:  Acc. Chem. Res.     Publication Date:  2012 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-1-1     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0157313     Medline TA:  Acc Chem Res     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Departments of †Chemistry, ⊥Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and ‡Computer Science and the §Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, 6100 Main St MS 222, Rice University , Houston, Texas, 77005, United States.
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