Measuring the lateral dimensions of a graphene oxide flake can be done through a variety of techniques, including SEM, TEM and AFM. All of these techniques are frequently employed by the graphene community as flake size is known to be a key performance affecting parameter in a number of applications. The problem with these more "traditional" techniques is that to collect a data set with sufficient statistical significance it takes several hours, often days.
As William Blythe has been moving through the scale up program for graphene oxide, the development of an analytical test method which can be used to obtain an overview of the flake sizes within a sample has become increasingly important. Building upon existing expertise within the team, and seeking advice from external experts when needed, William Blythe have now developed a method using a Malvern Mastersizer 3000. The method developed shows good correlation with data observed through microscopy and results are obtained within minutes. For the team at William Blythe, this represents a huge milestone, with work on developing a range of graphene oxide products with varying lateral dimension distributions is now underway. While this method does not allow data to be collected on individual flakes, the resulting data on the particle size distribution is sufficient for seeing trends in data when manipulating lateral dimensions. The method is also ideally suited for use in Quality Control to ensure the product meets specification.
For more information on any aspect of the graphene oxide program at William Blythe, please get in touch and a member of the team would be happy to help.