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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Team of NIU scientists discovers simple, green method of producing highly touted graphene

Northern Illinois University
June 20, 2011

Scientists at Northern Illinois University say they have discovered a simple method for producing high yields of graphene, a highly touted carbon nanostructure that some believe could replace silicon as the technological fabric of the future.

The focus of intense scientific research in recent years, graphene is a two-dimensional material, comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is the strongest material ever measured and has other remarkable qualities, including high electron mobility, a property that elevates its potential for use in high-speed nanoscale devices of the future.

In a June communication to the Journal of Materials Chemistry, the NIU researchers report on a new method that converts carbon dioxide directly into few-layer graphene (less than 10 atoms in thickness) by burning pure magnesium metal in dry ice.

“It is scientifically proven that burning magnesium metal in carbon dioxide produces carbon, but the formation of this carbon with few-layer graphene as the major product has neither been identified nor proven as such until our current report,” said Narayan Hosmane, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry who leads the NIU research group.


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