Chennai, Oct 24: The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) researchers have shown a simple route to producing graphene platelets from graphite.
They have found that when graphite was suspended in an appropriate fluid and subjected to intense shearing force of machining, the layers of graphite separate into graphene platelets.
The research was led by Dr Sathyan Subbiah, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT-M and his research student Wazeem Nishad. Their work was recently published in the reputed peer-reviewed international journal Manufacturing Letters.
Graphene is a form – an allotrope, to use the technical term – of carbon, that shot into fame in 2010 through the Nobel Prize it earned for Sir Andre Geim and Sir Kostya Novoselov of the University of Manchester.
The idea of graphene is, however, not new. The history of this two-dimensional honeycomb shaped carbon spans more than a century of worldwide research, an IIT-M release here today said.
''Graphene is the building block of the more commonly known graphite; a one millimetre-thick sheet of graphite is made of three million layers of graphene'', it said. “Superior quality Graphene is commonly prepared by the exfoliation method”, Dr Subbiah said and added that the Nobel-winning work at Manchester involved peeling off layers of graphene from graphite using scotch tape. Since then, laboratories all over the world have been developing various forms of chemical and mechanical methods to produce graphene, it said. (UNI)