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Wednesday, 18 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies

Solvent-driven electron trapping in reduced graphites to access perfect graphene

Thursday, 18 August 2016

A study reports on a significant discovery, namely, the quantitative discharging of reduced graphite forms, such as graphite intercalation compounds, graphenide dispersions and graphenides deposited on surfaces with the simple solvent benzonitrile.

Solvent-driven electron trapping and mass transport in reduced graphites to access perfect graphene. Source: FAU/Philipp Vecera

Solvent-driven electron trapping and mass transport in reduced graphites to access perfect graphene. Source: FAU/Philipp Vecera

Because of its comparatively low reduction potential, benzonitrile is reduced during this process to the radical anion, which exhibits a red colour and serves as a reporter molecule for the quantitative determination of negative charges on the carbon sheets.

Quantitative solvent reduction

Moreover, this discovery reveals a very fundamental physical-chemical phenomenon, namely a quantitative solvent reduction induced and electrostatically driven mass transport of K+ ions from the graphite intercalation compounds into the liquid. The simple treatment of dispersed graphenides suspended on silica substrates with benzonitrile leads to the clean conversion to graphene. This unprecedented procedure represents a rather mild, scalable and inexpensive method for graphene production surpassing previous wet-chemical approaches.

The study is published in: Nature Communications 7, 2016.

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