Stronger graphene oxide ‘paper’ made with weaker units

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Want to make a super strong material from nano-scale building blocks? Start with the highest quality building blocks, right?

Wrong—at least when working with “flakes” of (GO).

A new study from Northwestern University researchers shows that better GO “” can be made by mixing strong, solid GO flakes with weak, porous GO flakes. The finding will aid the production of higher quality GO materials, and it sheds light on a general problem in : how to build a nano-scale material into a macroscopic material without losing its desirable properties.

“To put it in human terms, collaboration is very important,” said Jiaxing Huang, Northwestern Engineering professor of materials science and engineering, who led the study. “Excellent players can still make a bad team if they don’t work well together. Here, we add some seemingly weaker players and they strengthen the whole team.”

The research was a four-way collaboration. In addition to Huang’s, three other groups participated, led by Horacio Espinosa, professor of mechanical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering; SonBinh Nguyen, professor of chemistry at Northwestern; and Tae Hee Han, a former postdoc researcher at the University who’s now a professor of organic and nano engineering at Hanyang University, South Korea.

The study was published today in Nature Communications. Read full article here.

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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. Join NGA here.

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