Graphene is extremely tough, flexible, light-weight, and conductive. These unique characteristics make graphene a useful substitute for existing materials in applications including conductors, composites and sensors. Currently, commercial adoption of graphene is limited by manufacturing processes that are unable to mass-produce defect-free graphene cost-effectively. The method described circumvents the need to produce defect-free graphene and does not compromise the superior properties graphene endows. The method controls the 3D structure of bulk graphene materials, thereby extending the range of properties and applications of existing bulk solids, including flexiblility and broad sensing capability. The method is a simple, world-first scalable freeze-casting method, which efficiently assembles graphene sheets at a structural level. Proof-of-concept studies reveal the foams have ultra-low density and retains structural integrity under loads < 50,000 times its own weight over 1000 loading cycles. Unlike commercial soft polymeric materials which can only measure frequencies up to 5 Hz, the graphene foams exhibit near frequency independent piezoresistive behaviours, and can conduct instantaneous and high-fidelity electrical responses to dynamic pressures with a broad frequency range (quasistatic to 2000 Hz). The foams have proven manufacturability for use as flexible sensors with promising application for ultra-high sensitivity broad frequency forces.
Primary Application Area: Materials, Chemical
Technology Development Status: Prototype
Technology Readiness Level: TRL 4
Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab
Showcase Booth #: 219
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES