KSU has developed a quick, one-step high-yield method for the gram scale production of pristine, uncontaminated graphene nanosheets (GNs) and virtually defect-free graphite flakes (GFs). This method involves the controlled detonation of acetylene (or other hydrocarbons) in the presence of oxygen, thereby causing high temperature conditions that lead to the formation of these GNs. The resulting GNs range from possessing a multi-layered random orientation, to having a bi- or tri-layered ordered stacking. The specific surface area of the resulting carbon is between 23 m2g-1 and 187 m2g-1. This graphene is further used in the production of an aerogel-inspired material called “aerosol gel” – a novel porous material with high specific surface area (~400 m2/g), ultra-low density (~2.5 mg/cc), extremely high porosity, very low thermal conductivity and variable electrical conductivity.
This technology solves the need for producing high yields (~70%) of uncontaminated, pristine GNs at a low cost, commercially viable scale, and in a short span of time. Further, this method is green and we believe it can possibly be scaled up to produce GNs in large quantities (up to 600 grams in 1 hour) required for industrial applications. Aerosol gels produced using these GNs have the phenomenal characteristics of aerogels, without the expensive, difficult, and time-consuming supercritical drying process inherent in their production.
APPLICATIONS AND COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES:
GNs have significant technical applications in electronic, optoelectronic and semiconducting industries such as photovoltaics, ultrahigh speed transistors, biological and physical sensors, logic devices, actuators, Coulomb blockade devices, ultra-strong composite paper, field emission devices, transparent electrodes, conductive pastes, and optical/fluorescent devices.
Aerosol gels produced using this carbon are applicable to all fields where aerogels are currently in use, such as oil & gas processing insulation, general building and vacuum insulation, supercapacitors, general and fuel cell catalysts, water filtration, acoustic damping, and cosmetics.
-US Patent Application #14/272,924 filed on May 8, 2014.