Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Sugar and slice make graphene real nice

Monolayer graphene can be derived from solid PMMA films on copper substrates in a technique developed at Rice University. Researchers found other substances -- including plain table sugar -- can also be used as a source of carbon for graphene. (Credit: Tour Lab/Rice University)
Monolayer graphene can be derived from solid PMMA films on copper substrates in a technique developed at Rice University. Researchers found other substances -- including plain table sugar -- can also be used as a source of carbon for graphene. (Credit: Tour Lab/Rice University)

Abstract:
Rice University lab finds table sugar, metallic sheets produce pristine graphene in one step

Sugar and slice make graphene real nice

Houston, TX | Posted on November 11th, 2010

Future computers may run a little sweeter, thanks to a refinement in the manufacture of graphene at Rice University.

Rice researchers have learned to make pristine sheets of graphene, the one-atom-thick form of carbon, from plain table sugar and other carbon-based substances. They do so in a one-step process at temperatures low enough to make graphene easy to manufacture.

The lab of Rice chemist James Tour reported in the online version of the journal Nature this week that large-area, high-quality graphene can be grown from a number of carbon sources at temperatures as low as 800 degrees Celsius (1,472 F). As hot as that may seem, the difference between running a furnace at 800 and 1,000 degrees Celsius is significant, Tour said.

"At 800 degrees, the underlying silicon remains active for electronics, whereas at 1,000 degrees, it loses its critical dopants," said Tour, Rice's T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science.

Zhengzong Sun, a fourth-year graduate student in Tour's lab and primary author of the paper, found that depositing carbon-rich sources on copper and nickel substrates produced graphene in any form he desired: single-, bi- or multilayer sheets that could be highly useful in a number of applications.

Sun and his colleagues also found the process adapts easily to producing doped graphene; this allows the manipulation of the material's electronic and optical properties, which is important for making switching and logic devices.

For pristine graphene, Sun started with a thin film of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) -- perhaps best known in its commercial guise as Plexiglas -- spun onto a copper substrate that acted as a catalyst. Under heat and low pressure, flowing hydrogen and argon gas over the PMMA for 10 minutes reduced it to pure carbon and turned the film into a single layer of graphene. Changing the gas-flow rate allowed him to control the thickness of the PMMA-derived graphene.

Then it got more interesting, Sun said. He turned to other carbon sources, including a fine powder of sucrose -- aka table sugar. "We thought it would be interesting to try this stuff," Sun said. "While other labs were changing the metal catalysts, we tried changing the carbon sources."

Sun put 10 milligrams of sugar (and later fluorene) on a square-centimeter sheet of copper foil and subjected it to the same reactor conditions as the PMMA. It was quickly transformed into single-layer graphene. Sun had expected defects in the final product, given the chemical properties of both substances (a high concentration of oxygen in sucrose, five-atom rings in fluorene); but he found potential topological defects would self-heal as the graphene formed.

"As we looked deeper and deeper into the process, we found it was not only interesting, but useful," Sun said.

He tried and failed to grow graphene on silicon and silicon oxide, which raised the possibility of growing patterned graphene from a thin film of shaped copper or nickel deposited onto silicon wafers.

Doped graphene opens more possibilities for electronics use, Tour said, and Sun found it fairly simple to make. Starting with PMMA mixed with a doping reagent, melamine, he discovered that flowing the gas under atmospheric pressure produced nitrogen-doped graphene. Pristine graphene has no bandgap, but doped graphene allows control of the electrical structure, which the team proved by building field-effect transistors.

"Each day, the growth of graphene on silicon is approaching industrial-level readiness, and this work takes it an important step further," Tour said.

Co-authors of the study were Rice graduate students Zheng Yan, Jun Yao and Elvira Beitler and postdoctoral research associate Yu Zhu.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Office of Naval Research Multidisciplinary Research Program on graphene supported the research.

Related materials

Read the abstract here: www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature09579.html

####

About Rice University
Located in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked one of America's best teaching and research universities. Known for its "unconventional wisdom," Rice is distinguished by its: size -- 3,279 undergraduates and 2,277 graduate students; selectivity -- 12 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources -- an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1; sixth largest endowment per student among American private research universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jessica Stark
713-348-6777


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

Copyright © Rice University

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

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

Using light to propel water : With new method, MIT engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light April 25th, 2017

Graphene holds up under high pressure: Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive April 24th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

Chemistry

Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide April 14th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

Researchers develop groundbreaking process for creating ultra-selective separation membranes: Discovery could greatly improve energy-efficiency of separation and purification processes in the chemical and petrochemical industries March 15th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Graphene holds up under high pressure: Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive April 24th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Better living through pressure: Functional nanomaterials made easy April 19th, 2017

Possible Futures

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

Graphene holds up under high pressure: Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive April 24th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

Russian scientists create new system of concrete building structures: Sientists of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University developed a new construction technology April 24th, 2017

Academic/Education

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

Rice crew revved for Nanocar Race: Nanocar creator James Tour and team take on international competition with single-molecule marvel April 20th, 2017

The Catholic University of Rome uses the JPK NanoWizard® AFM & CellHesion® systems to understand how cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli April 5th, 2017

AIM Photonics Welcomes Coventor as Newest Member: US-Backed Initiative Taps Process Modeling Specialist to Enable Manufacturing of High-Yield, High-Performance Integrated Photonic Designs March 16th, 2017

Chip Technology

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

'Neuron-reading' nanowires could accelerate development of drugs for neurological diseases April 12th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce First Quarter Financial Results on May 2, 2017 April 11th, 2017

AIM Photonics Presents Cutting-Edge Integrated Photonics Technology Developments to Packed House at OFC 2017, the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition April 11th, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Intertronics introduce new nanoparticle deagglomeration technology March 15th, 2017

Boron atoms stretch out, gain new powers: Rice University simulations demonstrate 1-D material's stiffness, electrical versatility January 26th, 2017

New stem cell technique shows promise for bone repair January 25th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

Researchers “iron out” graphene’s wrinkles: New technique produces highly conductive graphene wafers April 3rd, 2017

A big leap toward tinier lines: Self-assembly technique could lead to long-awaited, simple method for making smaller microchip patterns March 27th, 2017

Scientists discover new 'boat' form of promising semiconductor: GeSe Uncommon form attenuates semiconductor's band gap size March 23rd, 2017

UC researchers use gold coating to control luminescence of nanowires: University of Cincinnati physicists manipulate nanowire semiconductors in pursuit of making electronics smaller, faster and cheaper March 17th, 2017

Announcements

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

Using light to propel water : With new method, MIT engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light April 25th, 2017

Graphene holds up under high pressure: Used in filtration membranes, ultrathin material could help make desalination more productive April 24th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

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