3D Printing Makes Foundation of New Graphene Production Method

Posted Date 07/06/17

A method of 3D printing has made the basis for as new and simple method of creating graphene, the superstrong, superthin material that has been hailed as the material of the future if only it could be produced on a commercial scale.

The 3D laser printing used in this method, which relies of nickel and sugar, no more, is a bit different from commercially available 3D laser printing. It still involves the melting of powders with a laser, layer by layer, but on a smaller scale. When the layer cools off, graphene is produced.

The discovery was made by scientists from Rice University and China’s Tianjin University and, according to one of the co-authors of the study where it was detailed, the process is customizable. For example, the graphene created in the 3D printing process can be reinforced with carbon nanotubes, creating graphene rebar, or nitrogen- and sulfur-doped graphene. What’s more, the researchers say that their process is scalable, which may bring graphene closer to mass production – the main stumbling block to its days of glory.

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