Research press release


Nature Materials

Making graphene in your kitchen


Jonathan Colemanらは、高せん断ミキサーや調理用ブレンダーといった市販の機器を使って、ミリリットルサイズの実験用フラスコから工業用タンクまで、大小さまざまな容器に高分散グラフェン溶液を得た。溶液中で高速回転機器によって発生したせん断力は、グラファイト片を構成しているグラフェン層をはがせるほど強いが、グラフェン層の二次元構造は損なわれない。この手法は、二硫化モリブデンや窒化ホウ素など、興味深い光学的・電子的特性を持つ他の層状化合物にも有効である。


A process for producing hundreds of litres of solutions containing graphene sheets is reported online this week in Nature Materials. This method for transforming flakes of graphite into defect-free graphene is so simple that, in principle, it could also be replicated at home using household appliances.

Jonathan Coleman and colleagues used commercially available tools, such as high-shear mixers and even kitchen blenders, to obtain well-dispersed graphene solutions both in small and large containers - from millilitre-sized lab flasks to industrial tanks. They show that the shearing force generated by a rapidly rotating tool in solution can be sufficiently intense to separate the layers of graphene composing the graphite flakes, without damaging their two-dimensional structure. This approach is also effective for other layered materials with interesting optical and electronic properties, such as molybdenum disulphide and boron nitride.

The authors tested the performance of the produced graphene sheets by using them as fillers to mechanically reinforce plastic materials and as conducting elements for solar cells and batteries. They suggest that making large quantities of cheap and good-quality graphene with this method will boost the deployment of this material in various commercial applications.

doi: 10.1038/nmat3944

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