Graphene is truly the material of the moment. This wonder material is composed from a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like structure; but stack enough of these sheets together and you end up with common graphite, just as you can find in your pencil. So what is it that makes graphene such a fascinating material? Graphene is highly electrically conductive and super-strong; but its appeal reaches beyond the physical into the chemical, as the large surface area of this revolutionary material means that graphene can support metal nanoparticles and achieve exceptional catalytic activity.
So far, the reported methods of fabricating graphene-nanoparticle composites have had their drawbacks; often in the form of a high remainder of unattached metal nanoparticles. Such a remainder diminishes the active performance of any device made out of the composite, and so it can be no surprise that the pursuit of methods to more efficiently attach the nanoparticles is a serious business.
But now researchers from the National Physical Laboratory in India have discovered a simple, green, room temperature mechanism for the UV assisted synthesis of graphene and the simultaneous reduction of the nanoparticles onto the graphene matrix. This research was reported in the March issue of the open access journal, Materials Today.
According to Renu Pasrich, lead author of the study, the team is now “working towards increasing the conductivity without compromising the transmittance of the graphene-nanoparticle film, for applications involving transparent,conducting coatings for liquid-crystal displays and solar cells.”
“Directed nanoparticle reduction on graphene” by Renu Pasricha, Shweta Gupta, Amish G. Joshi, Nupur Bahadur, D. Haranath, Kedar N. Sood, Sukhvir Singhand Sandeep Singh. It appears in Materials Today, Volume 15, Issue 3, Page 118 (2012) published by Elsevier.