Researchers discover that in producing graphene Irish whiskey works.
In an unlikely marriage of science, researchers have found a way to produce high-quality graphene using Irish whiskey.
You would think a team of researchers turning to drink would mean bad news for science, but in fact it is leading to some exciting developments in the field of materials science. Researchers from the SFI Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER) centre at Trinity College Dublin have revealed a new way to produce graphene using Irish whiskey.
One increasingly popular method of producing the atom-thick, highly conductive ‘wonder material’ is liquid-phase exfoliation (LPE). Deemed to one of the most efficient and scalable means for producing high-quality graphene sheets, LPE is very versatile and has now been applied to a range of common layered materials including graphite, talcum powder and clay.
As part of a study published to 2D Materials, the AMBER researchers showed that graphene nanosheets free from defects can be exfoliated in Irish whiskey as well as inks that can be printed into nanosheet networks for use in electronics.
LPE is increasingly being used for low-cost electronic devices and sensors such as RFID tags, data storage and pixels in OLED TVs.
One of the most common ways of stabilising nanomaterials in a liquid or ink is to mix two different solvents. Previously, a blend of water and ethanol in a 60 to 40 ratio was shown to work, but was at too low a yield to be practical. However, the AMBER researchers tested the benefits of adding some organic compounds commonly found in commercial spirits such as whiskey. Read full article here.
About the National Graphene Association (NGA)
The National Graphene Association is the main organization and body in the U.S. advocating and promoting the commercialization of graphene. NGA is focused on addressing critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in effective integration of graphene and graphene-based materials globally. NGA brings together current and future graphene stakeholders — entrepreneurs, companies, researchers, developers and suppliers, investors, venture capitalists, and government agencies — to drive innovation, and to promote and facilitate the commercialization of graphene products and technologies.