As stated by Professor Mauricio Terrones, Penn State - "we found this Graphene oxide fiber was very strong, much better than other carbon fibers," - and - "we believe that pockets of air inside the fiber keep it from being brittle."
As predicted by Terrones et al., the above method opens up multiple possibilities for useful products. For example, removing Oxygen (O2) from the GO fiber resulting in a fiber with high electrical conductivity. Including Silver (Ag) nanorods to the Graphene film would increase the conductivity to the same as copper (Cu), which could make it a much lighter weight replacement for Cu transmission lines. The researchers believe that the material lends itself to various forms of highly sensitive sensors.
The researchers managed to make a thin film of GO by chemically exfoliating graphite into Graphene flakes, which were then mixed with water and concentrated by centrifuge into a thick slurry. The resultant slurry was spread by bar coating, similar to squeegee, across a large plate. After the slurry dries, it becomes a large-area transparent film that can be carefully lifted off without tearing. The thin film is then cut into narrow strips and wound on itself with an automatic fiber scroller, resulting in a fiber that can be knotted and stretched without fracturing. The results were published in a recent issue of ACSNano.
As stated by Terrones - "the importance is that we can do almost any material, and that could open up many avenues - it's a lightweight material and multifunctional properties," - and - "the main ingredient, graphite, is mined and sold by the ton." Original article available here
Please Note a joint patent has been applied for by the researchers at Penn State and Shinshu University.
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