Has large-scale graphene fabrication become a commercial reality?

May 15, 2015 // By Paul Buckley
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have fabricated graphene/polymer composites using chemical vapor deposition.  The 2-inch-by-2-inch sheets feature one-atom thick hexagonally arranged carbon atoms and overcome a barrier to using graphene on a commercial scale.

Graphene, which is stronger and stiffer than carbon fiber, has proved impractical to employ on a large scale, with researchers limited to using small flakes of the material.

The research team, which is led by ORNL’s Ivan Vlassiouk, has fabricated the graphene/polymer composite sheets that could pave the way for a new era in flexible electronics.  If Vlassiouk and his team are able to reduce the cost and demonstrate scalability, teh researchers envision graphene being used in a wide variety of electronics (displays, printed electronics, thermal management) and energy (photovoltaics, filtration, energy storage) applications.

The findings are reported in the journal Applied Materials & Interfaces.

“Before our work, superb mechanical properties of graphene were shown at a micro scale,” said Vlassiouk, a member of ORNL’s Energy and Transportation Science Division. “We have extended this to a larger scale, which considerably extends the potential applications and market for graphene.”