A new Rice University paper that details the mechanism behind the formation of graphene oxide has been selected as an “Editor’s Choice” because of its significance to the global science community, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The research by Rice chemist James Tour and Ayrat Dimiev, a former research scientist in Tour’s group, will be posted as an open-access paper available to everyone for free at the Editor’s Choice site. Dimiev is now a senior research scientist at AZ Electronic Materials, which licensed the Tour Group’s technology for bulk production of graphene oxide in 2010.
In January, ACS began selecting one paper a day from those accepted by its 44 journals to post to Editor’s Choice, as recommended by the journals’ editors. The paper by Tour and Dimiev is the first from Rice to be chosen.
“Most high-profile journals charge a significant fee to post papers as open access, so this is quite a compliment,” Tour said. “Graphene oxide is such a broadly studied material these days, from materials science to electronics to medicine, that an understanding of its mechanism of formation is likely of interest to many.”
In the new work, Tour and Dimiev describe how graphite, a bulk form of carbon commonly used as pencil lead, becomes graphene oxide in three distinct steps. They determined that the reaction can be stopped at each step and that the intermediate products can be isolated and stored.
Graphene oxide is of interest to chemists for its ability to dissolve in water or other solvents, be formed into films and then reduced back to graphene, the single-atom-thick layer of carbon. Graphene oxide has successfully been tested for use in electronics, conductive films, electrode materials and composites.
Tour said graphene oxide produced with Rice’s technology is being transitioned to commercial use to capture radioactive elements from water in the nuclear, oil and gas and mining industries. He said the 2010 paper on graphene-oxide synthesis is still one of the most highly downloaded papers every month from ACS Nano.
Read the new paper at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn500606a. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Naval Research and AZ Electronic Materials supported the research.