What is graphene How is it made

Types and manufacturing processes of graphene
Graphene as an ITO replacement

We have already reported several times that graphene is one of the hardest and most resilient materials in the world. Graphene is a chemical relative of diamonds, charcoal or the graphite of pencil leads - only better.

It is also referred to by some people as a "miracle material" because with only one atomic layer it is one of the thinnest materials in the universe - less than a millionth of a millimeter thick. Due to its many advantages, it has enormous economic potential and could be used in the future for the production of solar cells, displays and microchips.

Instead of the indium-based materials used today, graphene could revolutionize liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used in flat screens, monitors and cell phones.

There are different types of graphenes that also require different manufacturing techniques. In this article we will briefly introduce you to the different types of graphene.

Monolayer graphene

Monolayer (single-layer) graphene is the purest form of graphene. It consists of a 2D hexagonal lattice of carbon atoms.

Few-layer Graphene (FLG) or Multi-layer Graphene (MLG)

These are simply multiple layers of graphene sheets. The more layers of graphene there are, the more the thermal conductivity decreases. MLG is suitable as a composite material and as mechanical reinforcement.

Graphene Oxide (GO)

Graphene oxide is synthesized from graphite powder by a modified Hummers process. It is particularly suitable for use in flexible electronics, liquid crystal devices, chemical sensors and as an indium tin oxide substitute, especially for touchscreen devices.

Reduced Graphene Oxide (rGO)

Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is ideal for conductive inks. It is made similar to graphene oxide.

Graphite oxides

Graphite oxide is a precursor to graphene oxide (GO). It used to be called graphitic acid. It can be obtained from graphite under the action of strong oxidants. In the 2000s, graphite oxide became interesting as a possible precursor for the production of graphenes.

Graphite Nanoplatelets, Graphite Nanosheets, Graphite Nanoflakes

Graphite nanoplates, graphite nanosheets and graphite nanoflakes are 2D graphite materials with a thickness and / or transverse dimension of less than 100 nanometers. They are ideally suited for electrically conductive composite materials.

Manufacturing methods

Due to the rapidly increasing interest in graphene, the development has given rise to a whole range of different manufacturing methods. The main synthetic methods of graphene include:

  • Reduction of graphene oxide
  • Chemical and mechanical exfoliation
  • Chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
  • Epitaxial growth on silicon carbide