Dr. John Tatarko
Scholarship of Discovery
Graphene is a new material that was first isolated in 2004, and consists of one to a few atomic layers of carbon in a lattice sheet structure. Graphene has high tensile strength, high surface area, very low electrical resistance, and various other special properties that make it an excellent material for use in emerging technologies in the categories of electrical components, energy systems, and high strength applications. The production scale of graphene sheets and its variations is currently limited to laboratory use, with increasing research being conducted toward the development of manufacturing techniques of the material. We conducted experiments to analyze the scalability of graphene oxide synthesis through the sonication method, and hypothesized that increasing sonication volume and time would increase yield of graphene oxide. The synthesis of graphene oxide was scaled over 100-500mL while varying sonication from 60-180 minutes. The resulting product was analyzed for quantity by assessing the dry weight of each sonicated product. Product was to be assessed for definitive graphene oxide quality by Raman spectroscopy for both sheet size and purity of the product, but was unable to be completed due to machine failure as of this writing. Our data demonstrated that the production rate of graphene oxide is constant with increasing sonication volume, but decreases with increasing sonication time. The latter is typical of many chemical reactions and was expected of the synthesis, while the former indicates the feasibility of larger scale synthesis without trade-offs in production rate. Further research into the matter is needed at increasing volumes of sonication, and with greater repeatability of experiments.
Dexter, Evan, "Evaluating the Scalability of the Sonication Method of Graphene Oxide Synthesis" (2019). Honors Program Projects. 97.
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