Scientists find simple way to produce graphene

June 20, 2011, Northern Illinois University

Amartya Chakrabarti holds up a sample of graphene produced via the dry-ice method. Credit: Scott Walstrom, Northern Illinois University
( -- Scientists at Northern Illinois University say they have discovered a simple method for producing high yields of graphene, a highly touted carbon nanostructure that some believe could replace silicon as the technological fabric of the future.

The focus of intense scientific research in recent years, graphene is a two-dimensional material, comprised of a single layer of arranged in a . It is the strongest material ever measured and has other remarkable qualities, including high , a property that elevates its potential for use in high-speed nano-scale devices of the future.

In a June communication to the Journal of Materials Chemistry, the NIU researchers report on a new method that converts carbon dioxide directly into few-layer graphene (less than 10 atoms in thickness) by burning pure magnesium metal in .

"It is scientifically proven that burning magnesium metal in carbon dioxide produces carbon, but the formation of this carbon with few-layer graphene as the major product has neither been identified nor proven as such until our current report," said Narayan Hosmane, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry who leads the NIU research group.

"The synthetic process can be used to potentially produce few-layer graphene in large quantities," he said. "Up until now, graphene has been synthesized by various methods utilizing and tedious techniques. This new method is simple, green and cost-effective."

Hosmane said his research group initially set out to produce single-wall carbon nanotubes. "Instead, we isolated few-layer graphene," he said. "It surprised us all."

"It's a very simple technique that's been done by scientists before," added Amartya Chakrabarti, first author of the communication to the and an NIU post-doctoral research associate in chemistry and biochemistry. "But nobody actually closely examined the structure of the carbon that had been produced."

Explore further: Producing graphene layers using crystallization

More information: … g/2011/jm/c1jm11227a

Related Stories

Producing graphene layers using crystallization

March 2, 2010

( -- Ever since it's relatively recent discovery, graphene has generated a great deal of interest. Graphene is extracted from graphite in many cases, and consists of a sheet of carbon atoms bound together in a ...

Shining Light on Graphene-Metal Interactions

April 2, 2010

( -- By controlling the layered growth of graphene - a relatively "new" form of carbon that's just a single atom thick - researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory have uncovered intriguing details about the ...

A huge step toward mass production of graphene

March 10, 2010

Scientists have leaped over a major hurdle in efforts to begin commercial production of a form of carbon that could rival silicon in its potential for revolutionizing electronics devices ranging from supercomputers to cell ...

Doping graphene

June 1, 2010

An organic molecule that has been found to be effective in making silicon-based electronics may be viable for building electronics on sheets of carbon only a single molecule thick. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute ...

Unzipping Carbon Nanotubes Can Make Graphene Ribbons

April 20, 2009

( -- By "unzipping" carbon nanotubes, researchers have shown how to make flat graphene ribbons. Graphene, which is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon that looks like chicken wire, has unique electrical properties ...

Recommended for you

Solving mazes with single-molecule DNA navigators

November 16, 2018

The field of intelligent nanorobotics is based on the great promise of molecular devices with information processing capabilities. In a new study that supports the trend of DNA-based information carriers, scientists have ...

A way to make batteries almost any shape desired

November 16, 2018

A team of researchers from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Harvard University and Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology has developed a way to make batteries in almost any shape that can be imagined. ...

'Smart skin' simplifies spotting strain in structures

November 15, 2018

Thanks to one peculiar characteristic of carbon nanotubes, engineers will soon be able to measure the accumulated strain in an airplane, a bridge or a pipeline – or just about anything – over the entire surface or down ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 20, 2011
Link to original article (behind paywall)
5 / 5 (1) Jun 20, 2011
Sweet. How big?
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 20, 2011
I'll give the intrepid something much better than some article behind a paywall:

This is akin to old school alchemical techniques. 6000 year old techniques. Yes, that is not a typo.

Alchemy is all about near 2d deformed-stretched orbital superconductive oxidized states of the platinum metals group.

Structures which have 'off the scale bizzare' behavior.

Quantum entanglement is the least of their capacities.

Looks like a good way to make amorphous structures OR the fabled 'white powder of gold'.

Go ahead, give it a shot.

Graphene via such methods, or similar the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

I get a lot of naysayers giving me the lowest score they can on this website. In the years I've been taking those hits, note: I've been correct for about 95% of my posts.

For those who might wonder, I do indeed get in 'trouble' for making these posts. The kind that scares the crap out of most people.
4 / 5 (1) Jun 20, 2011
Lost sanity dealing with essential salts?

3.3 / 5 (3) Jun 20, 2011
He's been tickling his cannabinoid receptors.
2.5 / 5 (4) Jun 20, 2011
"I get a lot of naysayers giving me the lowest score they can on this website. In the years I've been taking those hits"

But not taking the hint apparently. You should probably move your conversations on to crowds that don't realise that you are talking random gobbledygook that has no relation to actual science or the real world in general. Like a healing crystal club or something.
not rated yet Jun 21, 2011
Crazy? Maybe. But I like the idea of dissolving compounds in liquid CO2, Flash freezing it into dry ice, and then trying the above method for graphene production. Given the apparent success of this method (although i still want to know how big the flakes are), there seem to be plenty of new hypotheses to test out with it. Maybe you could use this to produce graphene with custom pores.

Lots of maybe's mean plenty more science to be done.
3 / 5 (2) Jun 21, 2011
This seems huge to me. Does this mean we can make graphene from smoke stacks and exhaust pipes?
not rated yet Jun 21, 2011
When this thing (graphene) will hit the market and be used everywhere, Mankind will make a step of giant in his development!

More or less like the one we made with the arrival of silicon in our everyday life, some 30 years ago ...

Exciting time ahead!
5 / 5 (1) Jun 21, 2011
I get a lot of naysayers giving me the lowest score they can on this website. In the years I've been taking those hits, note: I've been correct for about 95% of my posts.

For those who might wonder, I do indeed get in 'trouble' for making these posts. The kind that scares the crap out of most people.

Note: He says that he has been correct 95% of the time.

Also, apparently his caretakers don't take kindly to crazy ideas.
1 / 5 (1) Jun 21, 2011
The graphene flakes prepared in such way are basically normal soot and it's useless for electronic. It could have some usage in preparation of graphene paper for capacitors or some other applications, but I'm afraid, the natural graphite crystals are still much better source of dislocation-free graphene plates.
not rated yet Jun 21, 2011
If there is no easy, inexpensive way to clean up these flakes for electronic use, does the CO2 production method seem likely to be a good source of bulk graphene for construction-grade materials? Could it be used to create a fiberglass with half the mass and ten times the strength of what we currently have?
Just curious....
not rated yet Jun 21, 2011
I wnader if the presure would make a difference. I mean, if you conducted this experiment under high presure, would you get longer/wider mats of carbon or less layers thick carbon. If presure does make any difference it would sure seem an easy way to spin out large carbon strings
not rated yet Jun 21, 2011
@KBK - You're taking hits because what you're saying is absolutely irrelavent to what the average physorg reader is interested in. If we wanted to learn more about graphene on a quantum level, we'd google or wikipedia it. No, Physorg readers are about discussing the technological implications.

That they unwittingly did the similar processes for thousands of years also has little interest to us compared to making computer chips or other neat devices out of it.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.