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New method uses ice to create 3D graphene objects

4th March 2016

Scientists have developed a new technique for creating 3D objects out of graphene oxide with the help of frozen water and a modified 3D printer.

Engineers from the University at Buffalo, Kansas State University and the Harbin Institute of Technology in China have found a way of utilising graphene to craft more complex structures than has been possible up to this point.

Graphene oxide was mixed with water, with a lattice framework subsequently printed on a surface with a temperature of minus 25 degrees C. The graphene is sandwiched between the layers of ice, which act as a structural support.

After the process is completed, the lattice is then dipped in liquid nitrogen to strengthen the hydrogen bonds, before being placed into a freeze dryer to change the ice into gas and remove it.

This allows for the production of complex 3D graphene aerogel structures that retain their shape at room temperature. It is thought that this method could be used to create new advances in electronics and medical device design.

Dong Lin, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at Kansas State University, said: "By keeping the graphene in a cold environment, we were able to ensure that it retained the shape we designed. This is an important step toward making graphene a commercially viable material."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801814048-ADNFCR

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