Making graphene for a fully industrial process

Summary:Growing graphene from copper that you can buy at the store will make it easier to fabricate.

Ever since graphene was discovered, it has been seen as a miracle material that could one day replace silicon as a material of choice for electronics and possibly improve clean technology.

However, building the material from scratch hasn't been that easy. Graphene consists of carbon atoms that when placed on a sheet, are a single layer thick. By that very nature, it has been difficult to mass produce the super material. The main issue? Getting the graphene to be consistently thin and producing the material on an industrial scale has been quite challenging.

However, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania might have a way around that. The scientists bought copper sheets that could be purchased from a store, and polished the metal until it became a smooth layer covered in graphene. The scientists accomplished this at atmospheric pressure, producing layers of graphene on 95 percent of the surface area.

Penn researcher Zhengtang Luo said in a statement:

"The fact that this is done at atmospheric pressure makes it possible to produce graphene at a lower cost and in a more flexible way."

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Topics: Innovation


Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech,, and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado... Full Bio

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