doi:10.1038/nindia.2013.81 Published online 20 June 2013
Researchers have invented a green, single-step technique that can churn out lightweight two-dimensional graphene nanosheets (GNs) . They prepared the nanosheets by detonating acetylene gas in the presence of oxygen. These nanosheets will be very useful for fabricating sensors, supercapacitors and solar-cell-based devices.
Its high thermal and electrical conductivities make graphene an excellent material for various devices. However, most techniques currently used to produce graphene have low yields and use harmful chemicals.
The researchers devised a simple, fast and ecofriendly technique to produce GNs that involves detonating acetylene gas in the presence of oxygen in a cylindrical aluminium chamber for 40 milliseconds. This technique does not require any catalyst.
Sophisticated images revealed aggregates of nanosheets with nanosized dense regions connected by twisted ribbon-like structures that are thin and continuous. The surfaces of the GNs contained slit-like pores, which could be manipulated to design devices.
This method is green and does not contaminate the graphene product. Simple modification of the lab-scale apparatus could enable it to produce 300 g of GNs per hour.
"This form of graphene can be mixed with polymers such as epoxy to make composites that could replace metals in the manufacture of aircraft and cars, making them lighter and more fuel efficient," says Gajendra P. Singh, a co-author of the study.
The authors of this work are from: Department of Physics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, USA and the Centre for Nanotechnology, Central University of Jharkhand, Jharkhand, India.