Large High-Quality Single-Crystal Graphene

Physical Sciences : Materials and Compounds

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Rodney Ruoff, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Shanshan Chen , University of Texas at Austin

Background/unmet need

Graphene, a conductive and flexible form of carbon, has shown great promise for its application in electronic devices and research continues to find more applications for this strong yet lightweight material. Graphene’s flat honeycomb pattern makes it the strongest material by weight in the world, and recent uses suggest it could boost internet speeds and even extend the life of computers.

One of the biggest problems of the use of graphene is that it has a high density of grain boundaries, which prevent it from being utilized in as many devices. For graphene to become as economically feasible and widely used as hoped, the growth of a large crystal of graphene would need to be produced to sustain the high volume demands.

Invention Description

Researchers at UT Austin have designed method which would allow for the production of graphene on a large scale. The invention uses a two-step synthesis technique to create millimeter-size single-crystal graphene. This is much larger than results currently obtained which create graphene crystals ranging from only ten to a hundred microns in diameter. This single crystal of graphene of such caliber is currently one of the largest crystals created.

Benefits/Advantages

  • Millimeter-size single-crystal graphene domains were easily achieved.
  • Much larger graphene domains are produced with a simple modification of current techniques. 
  • Reduced defects from higher density of domain boundaries
  • Stronger
  • Higher electrical mobility
  • Higher thermal conductivity
  • Higher oxidation resistance

Features

  • Vapors are controlled.
  • Simple procedure

Market potential/applications

Metals in aerospace; solar cells; transistors; corrosion or anti-corrosion; companies that want to utilize very thin coatings that protect against oxidation; electronics companies; companies using metals to make products for human consumption; plumbing companies

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype