Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Graphene Spun into Meter-Long Fibers

Graphene Spun into Meter-Long Fibers: They have used an industrial process called wet spinning to turn an aqueous solution of graphene oxide--a modified form of graphene that is easier to dissolve--into fibres that are tens of metres long. A final chemical reduction treatment turns the long strings of graphene oxide back into grapheme...

The team's trick for fibre formation is to start with a solution of graphene oxide so pure and so concentrated that it forms liquid crystals. This half-liquid, half-solid state will flow like a viscous fluid, but the graphene oxide molecules within it are assembled into neat rows. Because of this internal order, liquid crystals are a good starting material for spinning fibres, says Gao, noting that Kevlar is also made from liquid crystals.

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