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    FTIR Analysis of Graphene Oxide

    FTIR Analysis of Graphene Oxide

    Recently, our GOgraphene powder was characterised by Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR). In these measurements, infrared light is passed into an ATR crystal to reflect against the sample with a short penetration depth to minimise noise in the spectrum as graphene oxide is a 2D material. The material is then scanned over several angles of incidence and the refracted beam is detected to give the spectra across 600-4000 cm-1. The peaks shown in the spectrum indicate the characteristic bond vibrations between elements in the sample. For more information, please visit our analytical data page.

    If there is any additional information on FTIR, or other analytical data that you feel would be beneficial for your research, please get in touch through our enquiry form and one of the GOgraphene team will be in touch.

    Electronically Controlled Graphene Oxide Membranes

    Electronically Controlled Graphene Oxide Membranes

    The control of water permeation rates though membranes is an important factor in the water purification industry as well as in the medical field. Members of the National Graphene Institute have recently published an article in Nature outlining a membrane primarily consisting of graphene oxide with electronically controlled permeation. The researchers installed conductive filaments into the graphene oxide membranes which was prepared onto a porous silver substrate. Graphene oxide is an insulating material, so a gold thin film (10 nm) was deposited onto the surface to provide the conductivity. Layers of graphene oxide then create channels in which the water can pass. Between the layers of graphene oxide, the water molecules become ionised through the application of current in the gold thin film which then repels the flow of water through the membrane. The team identified a correlation between the applied current, rather than voltage, with permeation rate as the voltage required to maintain the current varied. By utilising this information, the level of permeation was able to be varied through control of the applied current, from ‘ultrafast’ to complete blockage.

    This application is just one of many studied by academic groups to utilise the unique properties of graphene oxide and highlights the importance that graphene and graphene oxide materials will have on technology in the near future. If you have any enquiries about the applications of graphene oxide or how it can improve your existing applications, please get in touch and one of the GOgraphene team will be happy to help.

    Nature, 2018, 559, 236-240

    Exploring the Anti-Corrosive Properties of Graphene Oxide

    Exploring the Anti-Corrosive Properties of Graphene Oxide

    Anti-corrosion coatings have become increasingly more important in the developing world, with industrial equipment requiring protection from corrosive mediums such moisture, industrial chemicals or abrasion. With the global market now valued at $24 billion and expected to reach $36 billion by 2024, new technologies are under research with greater anti-corrosion properties. Considering it’s the strongest material known to man, it’s no surprise that graphene falls within this umbrella of research.

    One of the first papers that explored a scalable route to anti-corrosion graphene coatings was produced by researchers at the University of Manchester, who utilised graphene oxide as an inert barrier. The hexagonal array of carbon atoms in graphene oxide act as a very effective barrier in water purification applications, with the oxygen functionalities providing defects and pathways for only the diffusion of water and small ions such as chlorides. In this research, graphene oxide was chemically reduced to restore the pristine graphene lattice. This coating was now impermeable to small ions as well as water, allowing it to be an effective anti-corrosion barrier for moisture and sea salt. The chemical inertness of graphene also gave this coating very high chemical corrosion resistance, proven in this research by exposing the surface to nitric, hydrochloric and even hydrofluoric acids whilst showing zero degradation.

    In the same year, the anti-bacterial properties of graphene oxide were demonstrated in a biomedical application as a nanopaint for protection against bacteria to reduce incidences of heathcare-associated infection. Graphene oxide was incorporated into the paint through a simple balling milling technique, which was then coated onto substrates before subjecting to incubation with E.coli, P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. After 48 hours, the graphene oxide paint reduced the populations of these bacteria by 94, 88 and 85%, respectively, demonstrating its effectiveness as an antibacterial coating. These are just two of the many studies understanding the versability of graphene in coating applications, and if you’d like to find out more about this research topic, please do get in touch.

    Nature Communications, 2014, 5, 4843, 1-5

    Carbon, 2014, 72, 328-337

    Measuring the Flake Size of GO

    Measuring the Flake Size of GO

    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.




    New Metrology Service to Advance the Commercialisation of Graphene

    New Metrology Service to Advance the Commercialisation of Graphene

    This month the team at William Blythe saw the launch of the latest addition to the UK's powerhouse in 2D materials advancements with the new graphene characterisation service. Created by the National Physics Laboratory (NPL) and the National Graphene Insitute (NGI), this service aims to act as a key link between research and industrialisation by providing an independent and trusted analytical service by two of the world leading institutes in graphene metrology. Hosted at the House of Commons, the prestige of this event further supports the importance that graphene will play in the development of solutions to global challenges in the future. On display were graphene containing products demonstrating its wide applicability into industry including composites for lightweight aircrafts, energy storage devices for automotive electrification and even energy saving lightbulbs.

    Whilst it is very positive that graphene is beginning to enter the market at such an early stage since it’s discovery, the variability of graphene materials should always be considered when planning a research program. Many physical and chemical properties such as lateral sheet size, oxygen content and number of layers can have a large influence on the unique properties of graphene, such as its electronic conductivity and strength. Techniques like AFM, XPS and Raman spectroscopy are key in probing these parameters, and it’s these that are expected to be included within the service. When amalgamated, this data can then be used to determine whether a certain graphene material is suited for a specific application, for example a highly pure and pristine graphene can be crucial for electronic applications. The Graphene Characterisation Service is expected to be a first point of contact for the independent verification of the characteristics for a commercial graphene material, and more can be found out by following visiting NPL's website. If you’d like to explore which type of graphene is favourable for your application, then please do get in touch.