The main method for producing graphene currently involves peeling sheets from a chunk of graphite using sticky tape – a technique that is too awkward to be of use to electronics manufacturers. Graphene has the potential to be used for electronics and to replace silicon with faster and more efficient processing.
Scott Gilje and colleagues from the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, US, have developed an alternative method for making graphene, which they believe their spraying method has the potential for the large scale deposition of graphene for use in electronic devices.
First they spray a solution of graphite oxide powder – a compound studied since 1860 – onto silicon chips heated to 150 °C. On contact, the liquid evaporates, leaving flat graphite oxide sheets behind. Treating these sheets with a reducing agent called hydrazine removes the oxygen and hydrogen to leave double sheets of graphene