Ultrasonically-Assisted Preparation and Functionalization of Graphene

K. Hielscher
Hielscher Ultrasonics, DE

Keywords: ultrasonic, high-power ultrasound, graphene, graphene sheets, preparation, functionalization, dispersion


Since the extraordinary characteristics of graphite and graphene are known, several methods for its preparation have been developed. Beside to chemical production of graphenes from graphene oxide in multi-step processes, for which very strong oxidizing and reducing agents are needed. Additionally, the graphene prepared under these harsh chemical conditions often contain a large amount of defects even after reduction compared to graphenes obtained from other methods. However, ultrasound is a proven alternative to produce high quality graphene, also in large quantities. Researchers have developed different ways using ultrasound, but in general the graphene production is a simple one-step process. To give an example of a specific graphene production route: Graphite is added in a mixture of dilute organic acid, alcohol, and water, and then the mixture is exposed to ultrasonic irradiation. The acid works as a “molecular wedge” which separates sheets of graphene from the parent graphite. By this simple process, a large quantity of undamaged, high-quality graphene dispersed in water is created. (An et al. 2010)