New Laser Method Turns any Carbon-Containing Surface into Graphene

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A new paper recently published in a biography ACS Nano introduces a wonder-material graphene to… potatoes and coconuts.

By requesting a new technique, probably any aspect with a good volume of CO atoms — including food, cloth, paper, cork, and even Kevlar — can be patterned into graphene.

In 2014, a investigate group led by Rice University chemist James Tour reported that resplendent a laser on a form of cosmetic called polyimide rearranges a CO atoms into a informed hexagonal structure of graphene.

The outcome was reasonably called “laser-induced graphene” (or LIG).

Later, a same was replicated in wood, nonetheless here it compulsory a special cover with a tranquil atmosphere.

This time around, a apparatus of choice is a garden-variety CO dioxide (CO2) laser ordinarily used for engraving, laser cutting, and surgery.

The pivotal for success, a group reports, is “multiple lasing”, i.e., attack a aspect with a array of pulses during a certain energy and wavelength.

While, in wood, a singular pass is sufficient to grasp a preferred result, many other materials need a small some-more convincing.

New laser technique allows acclimatisation of any carbon-containing aspect into graphene. Image credit: Jeff Fitlow, Rice University.

In such cases, a initial pass creates a disaster of a aim atoms, producing a settlement called “amorphous carbon” (or black soot), while a second pass with a defocused lamp nudges them right into graphene.

Furthermore, distinct during prior experiments with wood, a procession was conducted in open atmosphere but a need for determining a atmosphere.

As a demonstration, a researchers patterned a tiny, fully-functional electronic member on a aspect of a coconut.

Given that LIG should theoretically be effective on any aspect receptive to charring, a extent to intensity applications coincides with a ability to suppose them (edible wiring anyone?).

“(…) any CO predecessor that can be converted into distorted CO can be converted into graphene regulating this mixed lase method”, wrote a authors in their paper.

To get things rolling, a researchers had due a use of LIG to imitation biological sensors and RFID tags right into a aspect of food to lane a tour from plantation to table.

In addition, LIG could also be used to absolved celebration H2O of damaging pathogens.

The latter choice is now being explored by a association TerraForma, formed on a anticipating that using electricity by LIG electrodes can both repel and kill neglected bacteria.

Sources: abstract,,

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