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Nat Mater. 2014 Jun;13(6):624-30. doi: 10.1038/nmat3944. Epub 2014 Apr 20.

Scalable production of large quantities of defect-free few-layer graphene by shear exfoliation in liquids.

Author information

1
1] Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland [2] Thomas Swan and Company Limited, Rotary Way Consett DH8 7ND, UK.
2
1] Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland [2] School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
3
School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
4
1] Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland [2] School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
5
1] SuperSTEM, STFC Daresbury Laboratories, Keckwick Lane Warrington WA4 4AD, UK [2] Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road Oxford OX1 3PH, UK.
6
Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
7
Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road Oxford OX1 3PH, UK.
8
1] Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland [2] School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland [3] School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Abstract

To progress from the laboratory to commercial applications, it will be necessary to develop industrially scalable methods to produce large quantities of defect-free graphene. Here we show that high-shear mixing of graphite in suitable stabilizing liquids results in large-scale exfoliation to give dispersions of graphene nanosheets. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy show the exfoliated flakes to be unoxidized and free of basal-plane defects. We have developed a simple model that shows exfoliation to occur once the local shear rate exceeds 10(4) s(-1). By fully characterizing the scaling behaviour of the graphene production rate, we show that exfoliation can be achieved in liquid volumes from hundreds of millilitres up to hundreds of litres and beyond. The graphene produced by this method performs well in applications from composites to conductive coatings. This method can be applied to exfoliate BN, MoS2 and a range of other layered crystals.

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PMID:
24747780
DOI:
10.1038/nmat3944

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