Despite all the hype , all of its properties and promises of scientists, you may be surprised by the fact that this material is still not used everywhere. As it turned out, this is not surprising. An international group of scientists conducted an analysis of graphene samples produced by 60 companies worldwide and came to the conclusion that they are all actually engaged in the production and sale of ultra-fine material based on carbon, for the invention of which its creators won the Nobel prize, and the usual debris, which is still sold at exorbitant prices.
Graphene really has great potential and is capable of producing a revolution in technology. However, a study published in the journal Advanced Materials says that the universal international standards for the production of this material is arbitrarily interpreted by producers. Comparing what among scientists is considered to be graphene that produce and sell companies in the market, the researchers found that in fact the proportion of graphene in these materials does not exceed 50 percent, and in most cases it is even less – less than 10 percent.
Insights actually shocking when you consider how many hopes were vested in this material. Scientists in the journal Advanced Materials write:
"Very concerned about the fact that the manufacturers claim is the black dust of the graphene and sell it for big money, but in reality they sell the material mainly consists of cheap graphite. Such behaviour undermines the reputation of the entire industry and has a negative impact on major developers and manufacturers of graphene. The real development of the industry of production of graphene is only possible through the standardization of the production process and the adoption of appropriate protocols".
In 2004, Russian scientists Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from Manchester University was published in the journal Science, where it was reported for graphene on a substrate of oxidized silicon. In 2010, scientists received a Nobel prize. Scientists created a material just one atom thick has incredible strength, but its electrical properties can make it useful in the manufacture of screens, phones, solar panels and other electronics that we use every day.
First, the production of graphene was carried out literally with tape. Pieces of graphite were placed between the sticky tapes and splits over and over again, creating a fairly thin layers. After peeling the adhesive tape with thin films of graphite is pressed to the substrate of oxidized silicon. But this kind of production were not scalable, so the company began to produce graphene by deposition of carbon atoms in the form of a film or cutting the graphite shavings of a certain thickness and the subsequent layer formation. In addition, there are other ways.
In the new study, one of the sponsors which is Novoselov, scientists have considered only liquid-phase exfoliation method, which is used in the mass production of graphene. Researchers determine how carbon graphene sheets with a thickness of not more than 10 atoms, because otherwise meterial loses its beneficial properties. After analyzing in the laboratory the graphene samples produced by 60 companies from around the world, scientists have found that their entire graphene is fake. In all samples the contents of the present graphene was less than 50 percent, one-third of the samples, this figure was even lower – less than 10 percent. All samples were from 10 to 1000 atomic layers. Moreover, the present graphene should be 100 percent of carbon, and the analyzed samples contained traces of other compounds.
"Our extensive study of the world of graphene production have shown that in the market there are high quality, pure graphene whose chemical composition is adopted and described by the International organization for standardization" — scientists.
Physicist Peter Boggild from the Danish technical University who have not participated in this study commented on the journal Nature, these findings, comparing the situation with the "world in which antibiotics can produce and sell any person, as there are no standards." In this case, these antibiotics are no one will buy. And perhaps that's why we still have not witnessed a revolution in consumer electronics, which we were promised graphene.
"This work is a direct appeal to researchers, manufacturers and buyers of graphene to those agreed and adopted the necessary standards. A transparent market for the production of graphene will benefit everybody, except, perhaps, unscrupulous suppliers," — he writes.
Begging also notes that the study does not specify how the researchers performed the selection – perhaps some manufacturers are creating really high-quality product, have not been considered. At the same time, the physicist adds that this study is another example of the importance of having quality control in this emerging field.
To Discuss the study .
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