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UConn professor develops method to synthesize pure graphene

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 6th, 2017

A professor at the University of Connecticut (UConn) has patented a unique method to produce graphene in its purest form.

Thinner than a human hair and 100 times stronger than steel, graphene is a material comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms. Its durability, light weight and conductivity make it an extremely promising and versatile material, yet most “graphene” currently on the market is actually graphene oxide that has been chemically or thermally reduced.

The oxygen in graphene oxide, while making the material easier to work with, also reduces its mechanical, thermal and electrical properties in comparison to pure graphene.

 “The innovation and technology behind our material is our ability to use a thermodynamically driven approach to un-stack graphite into its constituent graphene sheets, and then arrange those sheets into a continuous, electrically conductive, three-dimensional structure,” says Doug Adamson, UConn chemistry professor.

 “The simplicity of our approach is in stark contrast to current techniques used to exfoliate graphite that rely on aggressive oxidation or high-energy mixing,” says Adamson. “As straightforward as our process is, on one else had reported it. We proved it works.”

Graphene materials can be used in a wide range of fields including aircrafts, electronics and biotechnology. With support from UConn’s SPARK Technology Commercialization Fund, Adamson is developing a device that uses pure graphene to remove salt from brackish water, with many other applications contemplated for future development.

Source: UConn Today

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