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Graphene Fiber Offers Versatility

Posted on: 07/01/2014
Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University and Shinshu University in Japan have developed a simple, scalable method of making graphene oxide (GO) fibers that are strong, stretchable and can be easily scrolled into yarns with strengths approaching that of Kevlar.

The researchers made a thin film of graphene oxide by chemically exfoliating graphite into graphene flakes, which were then mixed with water and concentrated by centrifugation into a thick slurry. The slurry was then spread by bar coating across a large plate. The slurry dried into a large-area transparent film that could be lifted off without tearing. The film was 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 team believes this method opens up multiple possibilities for useful products. For instance, removing oxygen from the GO fiber results in a graphene fiber with high electrical conductivity. Adding silver nanorods to the graphene film would increase the conductivity to the same as copper, which could make it a much lighter weight replacement for copper transmission lines.

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