Cheap Graphene From Waste


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The next year – this year – the British government announced it would spend ?38m to establish a Geim/Novoselov-centric National Graphene Institute at Manchester University, aimed at "taking this research through to commercial success". But there is a big problem. Even tiny amounts of graphene still cost far more than industry can dream of affording.

One of the biggest drawback to our new carbon age is its cost. Currently producing graphene is not only difficult but costly. “Chemical vapor and solid deposition methods have been developed to grow graphene from organic gases or solid carbon sources. Most of the carbon sources used were purified chemicals that could be expensive for mass production,” according to scientists at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Graphene’s associated high production cost, lead to some sceptics suggesting that the graphene age might not happen at all, or at least only happen on a much delayed roll-out.

What to do about graphene’s “Scot’s hospitality” expense problem? For the scientists at Rice this was a no brainer. Building on work in Mexico in 2008 at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, where scientists had turned the cheapest grade tequila into diamonds, Rice’s team set out to make cheap graphene that even the meanest scot could afford. Using girl scout cookies, cockroaches and some dachshund faeces, Rice’s modern alchemists, struck gold, or rather graphene which is worth more than gold ounce for ounce. Just for the record and public safety, any one of the three components will do. It seems as they say in Yorkshire, “where there’s muck, there’s brass.”

Growth of Graphene from Food, Insects, and Waste
In its monolayer form, graphene is a one-atom-thick two-dimensional material with excellent electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. Large-scale production of high-quality graphene is attracting an increasing amount of attention. Chemical vapor and solid deposition methods have been developed to grow graphene from organic gases or solid carbon sources. Most of the carbon sources used were purified chemicals that could be expensive for mass production. In this work, we have developed a less expensive approach using six easily obtained, low or negatively valued raw carbon-containing materials used without prepurification (cookies, chocolate, grass, plastics, roaches, and dog feces) to grow graphene directly on the backside of a Cu foil at 1050 °C under H2/Ar flow. The nonvolatile pyrolyzed species were easily removed by etching away the frontside of the Cu. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy indicates that the monolayer graphene derived from these carbon sources is of high quality.
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Growth of Diamond Films from Tequila
Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga, Victor M. Castano

Diamond thin films were growth using Tequila as precursor by Pulsed Liquid Injection Chemical Vapor Deposition (PLI-CVD) onto both silicon (100) and stainless steel 304 at 850 C. The diamond films were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy. The spherical crystallites (100 to 400 nm) show the characteristic 1332 cm-1 Raman band of diamond.
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Rice University.
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Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
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