Graphene: new possibilities for industrial production
A study carried out by researchers from the CNR Istituto Officina dei Materiali and the University of Trieste and published in Science has unveiled the mechanisms of graphene growth on the surface of a common metal, nickel. The study provides new strategies to improve the industrial production of this material.
In the study, the Italian researchers showed that single nickel atoms act as catalysts in the process of graphene formation. This process was recorded in real time using a high-speed scanning module developed in recent years in collaboration with Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste.
“In addition to its relevant scientific value, this result is of considerable interest for applications”, said Cristina Africh of IOM-CNR, one of the authors of the study, “since one of the most widely used methods currently employed for industrial production of graphene makes use of a nickel substrate to grow graphene layers characterized by few defects at a reduced production cost”.
According to the researcher, understanding the details of the graphene growth mechanism could help define a strategy for the development of new and more efficient production processes for this material at an industrial level.