Iowa Sate researchers advance potential applications of graphene

This successful process, recently published in Nanoscale, could be used in sensors with biological applications.
This successful process, recently published in Nanoscale, could be used in sensors with biological applications. | File photo
Researchers from Iowa State University recently published the results of their breakthrough work with graphene, which treats the thin, flexible material with lasers to increase electrical conductivity without compromising a base material like paper or plastic film.
 
“This creates a way to commercialize and scale-up the manufacturing of graphene,” Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering Jonathon Claussen said. “The breakthrough of this project is transforming the inkjet-printed graphene into a conductive material capable of being used in new applications.”
 
The researchers printed multi-layer graphene circuits and electrodes with onto paper and plastic film using inkjet printers. Traditionally, this would present a problem as the graphene then needs to be treated with heat or chemicals to increase its conductivity, which would degrade the paper or film.
 
“The laser works with a rapid pulse of high-energy photons that do not destroy the graphene or the substrate,” Iowa State postdoctoral research associate Suprem Das said. “They heat locally. They bombard locally. They process locally.”
 
This successful process, recently published in Nanoscale, could be used in sensors with biological applications, in energy storage systems, in components for electrical conducting and in paper-based electronics.
 
“This work paves the way for not only paper-based electronics with graphene circuits, it enables the creation of low-cost and disposable graphene-based electrochemical electrodes for myriad applications including sensors, biosensors, fuel cells and (medical) devices,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

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Iowa State University 2229 Lincoln Way Ames, IA - 50014

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