Slashdot links to a Gizmag piece covering some research that covers one of the things I’ve always wondered about the amazing material, graphene. Being just a single atom sheet of atomic carbon, the material itself is environmentally sustainable but I’ve wonder if we could produce it without nasty chemicals involved or arising as byproducts.
Researchers at Rice University have made graphene even sweeter by developing a way to make pristine sheets of the one-atom-thick form of carbon from plain table sugar and other carbon-based substances. In another plus, the one-step process takes place at temperatures low enough to make the wonder material easy to manufacture.
The process they discovered is also versatile. The article doesn’t say if this is true of sugar as a carbon source, but using the original material, plexiglass, they could variously produce single, double and multilayer sheets. They also could alter the doping of the graphene. The additional of other materials is key to controlling the sheet’s resulting electrical and optical properties.
Graphene Can Be Made With Table Sugar, Slashdot