“Whilst electrochemistry has been around for a long time it is a powerful tool for nanotechnology because it’s so finely tuneable”
A simple electrochemical method has been used to tune the electrical and mechanical properties of graphene.
(Aug. 11, 2015) – Graphene has been called the miracle material but the single-atomic layer material is still seeking its place in the materials world. Now a method to make ‘defective’ graphene could provide the answer. In a study published in Nanotechnology, a team of researchers report that they have developed a simple electrochemical approach which allows defects to intentionally be created in the graphene, altering its electrical and mechanical properties and making the material even more useful. The researchers used a technique called electrochemical synthesis to break graphite flakes into graphene layers. By varying the voltage they could change the resulting graphene’s thickness, flake area, and number of defects—all of which alter the properties of graphene.
Hofmann’s team developed a system of pulsed instead of continuous voltages, allowing them to unravel the exfoliation mechanism. To monitor the evolution of the graphene in the solvent they found that simply tracking the solution’s transparency could give them quantitative information on the efficiency and onset of exfoliation.