Posted May 10, 2019 05:06:03Researchers have developed a method for making graphene photocats that can be made from ordinary carbon nanotubes.
They used a technique called photocatalysis, which involves mixing the nanotube with a solution of water to produce a photocatome.
Graphene is a lightweight, flexible and conductive material that can carry electricity.
The new method, which is described in the journal Nature Communications, uses graphene nanotubes, which are much less dense than ordinary carbon.
They can be created from the carbon by reacting with water.
“The idea is to take graphene, which can be a very heavy material, and create a photocatanoid with graphene, to form a composite of graphene and water,” Professor Chris Liddell, from the University of Queensland’s School of Physics and Astronomy, told ABC Radio Brisbane.
“So we’ve got a way to use the very light, light dense carbon to create a much lighter composite of carbon.”
Professor Liddel’s group developed the technique using graphene as the catalyst.
“This method is based on the principle of chemical bonding between the graphene and the water solution,” he said.
“It’s essentially a kind of ‘tadpole’ technique.”
The group says it has successfully made two photocatacites using a water solution that has a carbon-containing ionic group.
Professor Lidell says that when the water reacts with the graphene, it creates a photocite of graphene.
“Normally the water molecule would react with the carbon molecule to form the photocatode,” he explained.
“But with this catalyst the water reaction happens on its own, it’s not needed.”
“So the water interacts with the nanoparticle on the graphene to create the photocite.”
Professor Chris Lidel says that with the water interaction the photocaptite can be produced from graphene.
Professor Chris Riddell’s group says their method is scalable, and can produce graphene photocattacs from water-soluble materials.
“What we’ve done is we’ve created a solution that’s very, very water soluble, and it can be processed by any water treatment system,” he told ABC Brisbane.
Professor Riddll said he wanted to create “a material that is able to be photocatalysed by any reaction system that’s available to do that”.
“It can be photocattaced from a catalyst that’s water soluble and carbon soluble, it can even be photocaptacked by a carbon nanomaterial.”
He said that in this case, the photocattacite could be used to make new materials in the laboratory.
“We’ve used graphene to make a carbon photocatomer, and now we’re making a photocathode, and this is one of the first time we’ve been able to use this technique to make this kind of material,” he added.
Professor Mark Williams, a University of Sydney PhD student and the paper’s lead author, said the method was a “game changer” for the study of graphene, as it allowed the researchers to make photocatats using carbon.
“With the development of this method we’ve really opened up a lot of doors in terms of the possibilities,” he warned.
“You can make this material from graphene in a number of different ways, and we can then make the photocathodes that are really useful to do experiments in the future.”