Graphene, a one-atom-thick material that is about 100 times stronger than steel by weight, has enormous commercial potential but has been impractical to employ on a large scale, mainly because of size limits and expense.
Now, using chemical vapor deposition, a team led by ORNL’s Ivan Vlassiouk has fabricated polymer laminate (layered) composites containing 2-inch-by-2-inch graphene sheets created from large continuous sheets of single-layer graphene. They were also able to produce graphene-based fibers.
The new process eliminates flake dispersion and agglomeration (sticking together) problems. The process has potential to outperform current state of the art composite materials in both mechanical properties and electrical conductivity.