Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Researchers Discover New Properties of World's Thinnest Material

Graphene oxide sheets stabilized organic solvent droplets in water.
Graphene oxide sheets stabilized organic solvent droplets in water.

Abstract:
Graphene oxide, a single-atomic-layered material made by reacting graphite powders with strong oxidizing agents, has attracted a lot of interest from scientists because of its ability to easily convert to graphene — a hotly studied material that scientists believe could be used to produce low-cost carbon-based transparent and flexible electronics.

Researchers Discover New Properties of World's Thinnest Material

Evanston, IL | Posted on June 16th, 2010

But to Jiaxing Huang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, and his research group at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, graphene oxide itself is even more interesting. Huang and his group have studied the material for years and have discovered how to assemble these soft sheets like floating water lilies pads. They also used a camera flash to turn them into graphene, and invented a fluorescence quenching technique to make them visible under microscopes.

Now, working with Kenneth R. Shull, professor of materials science and engineering, they have discovered that graphene oxide sheets behave like surfactants, the chemicals in soap and shampoo that make stains disperse in water. The team's results are published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Graphene oxide has been known in the scientific world for more than a century and was largely described as hydrophilic, or attracted to water. But Huang and his research group thought that graphene oxide should be amphiphilic, a property of surfactants that can both attracts and repels water, because part of the graphene oxide structure is actually water repelling.

"We view graphene oxide as a soft material," Huang says. "For example, it is essentially two-dimensional polymers composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are also colloidal particles with very exotic shapes."

To test their hypothesis, Huang and his group put graphene oxide in carbonated water. They found that the sheets can hitchhike onto the rising bubbles to reach the water surface — just like a surfactant would do. Next they found that graphite oxide can disperse oil droplets in water — just like a surfactant would.

This new insight into a fundamental property of the material, according to Huang, is important for understanding how graphene oxide is processed and handled. It could lead to new applications for the material.

Its surfactant properties mean it could be used as a dispersing agent for insoluble materials, like carbon nanotubes. Common surfactants are non-conducting, so when used as a dispersing agent for conducting materials, they need to be removed from the material. Graphite oxide, which turns into conducting graphene through heating, would actually help conductivity.

The surfactant behavior inspired another exciting discovery — that water surface can act as a filter for separating graphene oxide sheets by size.

"The smaller the sheet, the more water-liking it becomes, so eventually it will sink into water," Huang says. This effect makes it easier to harvest large sheets of graphene oxide, which are more useful for graphene device fabrication.

This work was funded by the National Science Foundation. In addition to Huang and Shull, the other authors of the paper include graduate students Jaemyung Kim, Laura Cote, Wa Yuan and postdoc Franklin Kim.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Phone: (847) 491-5220

Copyright © Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Scienc

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. to Publish PCAOB Audited Financials July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Study finds physical link to strange electronic behavior: Neutron measurements offer new clues about iron-based superconductor July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

Possible Futures

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

Academic/Education

University of Manchester selects Anasys AFM-IR for coatings and corrosion research July 30th, 2014

Haydale Announces Collaboration Agreement with Swansea University’s Welsh Centre for Printing and Coatings (WCPC) July 12th, 2014

STFC takes delivery of the 100th Hitachi Tabletop SEM in the UK July 3rd, 2014

Innovation Management and the Emergence of the Nanobiotechnology Industry July 1st, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

SouthWest NanoTechnologies Names NanoSperse as A SWeNT Certified Compounder July 29th, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

University of Houston researchers create new method to draw molecules from live cells: Technique using magnetic nanomaterials offers promise for diagnosis, gene therapy July 17th, 2014

Discoveries

Study finds physical link to strange electronic behavior: Neutron measurements offer new clues about iron-based superconductor July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

Announcements

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. to Publish PCAOB Audited Financials July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE