Researchers led by Professor Seung Kwon Seol from Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) have detailed a world-first process of 3D printing graphene nanostructures.
3DPrint notes that some, such as Graphene 3DLab, have been able to print graphene/thermoplastic
composites, but methods such as selective laser sintering and fused deposition
modelling destroy most (but not all) of graphene’s unique properties.
Sung’s team’s paper in Advanced Materials, titled “3D Printing of Reduced
Graphene Oxide Nanowires”, describes a way of printing pure graphene nanostructures.
“We developed a nanoscale 3D printing
approach that exploits a size-controllable liquid meniscus to fabricate 3D
reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanowires,” Professor Seol told Nanowerk.
“Different from typical 3D printing
approaches which use filaments or powders as printing materials, our method
uses the stretched liquid meniscus of ink.
Graphene’s potential has excited researchers and industrialists since the material – a single
sheet of carbon atoms arranged in hexagonal form – was isolated in 2004 at the
University of Manchester.
currently difficult to produce in large quantities, graphene boasts properties
including being 200 times stronger than steel, a high degree of flexibility,
and superior conductivity at room temperature.