Professor Kilwon Cho Enhances Efficiency of Graphene Production by Rolls
Professor Kilwon Cho, Hyojin Bong, and Dr. Sae Byeok Jo of the Department of Chemical Engineering have developed a new synthetic method for high-throughput production of large-area conducting graphene films. The research outcome was featured on the cover page of the renowned international journal Nanoscale.
Graphene is one of the core materials for the transparent electrodes in soft electronics due to its high electric conductivity, flexibility, mechanical strength and transparency. The feasibility of the commercialization of graphene films depends on the efficient “scale-up” production of high-quality graphene film. However, large scale production of graphene by conventional roll-to-roll, or one-pot process, consumes a massive amount of energy, time, and raw materials, which requires sophisticated and complicated production facilities.
According to the research, the productivity of graphene synthesis could be drastically improved by simply “rolling” the catalytic foils to have a micron-scale gap between catalyst surfaces. Using the rolled catalytic geometry, the confinement of gaseous carbon source promotes highly frequent collisions between the catalyst and the gas flowing through the gap, which leads to more efficient conversion of carbon source to the graphene films even at lower usage of raw materials. Moreover, since the surface area of the catalyst is decided by the number of rolling, the synthetic area of graphene could be increased accordingly. The research team realized a 10 times larger area of synthesized graphene films at 1/10 usage of the source materials than conventional method.
Prof. Cho emphasized, “This research will bring forward the commercialization of conductinggraphene films for use in wearable smart electronic devices.”
This research was supported by the Global Frontier Research Center for Advanced Soft Electronics under the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning.