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F R A U N H O F E R - I N S T I T U T E F O R M A N U F A C T U R I N G E N G I N E E R I N G A N D A U T O M AT I O N I PA

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1 Structure of graphene PRODUCTION METHODS OF


2 Application example 1:
Photovoltaic GRAPHENE AND RESULTING
MATERIAL PROPERTIES

Fraunhofer Institute for General Description plications, for example in the fields of elect-
Manufacturing Engineering and ronics, composites, sensors as well as energy
Automation IPA The department “Process Engineering of storage and conversion. These engineering
Functional Materials” operating in Stuttgart, applications require availability of graphene
Nobelstr. 12 Germany, is a research center for synthesis on the mass scale and thus the development
70569 Stuttgart and application development of nanomate- of suitable processes is necessary.
rials. Since 2001, mainly the use of carbon
Directors: nanotubes (CNT) was investigated. The
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Prof. e.h. Dr. h.c. mult. acquired experience and skills, especially Available Production Methods
Engelbert Westkämper in various CNT dispersions, promoted the
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Verl development and implementation of new The focus of the work of the Fraunhofer IPA
nano-materials and processes in accordance and its partners is on the synthesis of the
Contact: with industrial requirements. graphene. The processes which are mainly
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Ivica Kolaric, MBA Since 2008, as a continuation of research on used are chemical vapour deposition (CVD)
Phone +49 (0)711 970 3729 carbon nanomaterials, Fraunhofer IPA has and electrochemical synthesis.
Ivica.Kolaric@ipa.fraunhofer.de been working on graphene materials and CVD is in principle a process of thermal de-
their processing. composition of hydrocarbons on transition
www.ipa.fraunhofer.de Graphene, a monolayer form of carbon metals. Graphene growth occur due to the
with a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice, precipitation of graphite from carbon spe-
has shown many interesting properties from cies within the Ni film and the carbon atoms
the mechanical, electrical, thermal and form a solid solution resulting in an ultrathin
optical point of view. These properties make graphene film (1 to ~ 10 layers) over the Ni
graphene a material of interest for many ap- surface.
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This method allows the transfer of the pro- bath. application as electronic components.
duced film to alternative substrates, for in- Static potential is applied to the two elect- • Inclusion of defects:
stance a polycarbonate (PC), by wet-etching rodes. Under these conditions the anode is Deformation of graphene lattice
the Ni film. This results in a free-standing corroding and a black precipitate is gradually structure by rearrangement of carbon
PC / graphene membrane (Figure 1) that appearing in the reactor. After electrolysis, atoms, influences optical properties of
exhibits outstanding optical transparency stable graphene dispersion is obtained. The graphene, with the potential of impro-
and electrical conductivity. supernatant can be directly filtered to form ved transparency for applications in e.g.
The ability to grow single and few-layer a graphene paper, or washed and dried to photovoltaics.
graphene with CVD is an important advan- obtain bulk powders of graphene. In Figure
tage. This technique can potentially enable 6 the filtered material is shown.
the simple growth of graphene at particular The as-prepared graphene nanosheets are Applications
locations and with desired geometries by stable in aqueous solution, ready to be iso-
controlling the catalyst morphology and lated as monolayer or multilayer graphene Graphene is a unique material that is well
position. sheets. suited for applications in surface treatment.
Electrochemical synthesis of graphene sheets The graphene layers have been successfully
is a one step treatment and can be classified applied to various substrates and show a
as subcategory of graphite exfoliation. Engineering Methods great potential for numerous electronic
In this case, two high purity graphite rods applications, for such as:
are used as electrodes. In the electrochemi- Furthermore, the properties of graphene can • Environmental Sensors
cal cell they are immersed in the electrolyte be modified by post-synthesis treatment. • Flexible Solar Cells
For example, chemical impurities, atomic • Touch sensors
substitutions and functional groups can be • Stretchable electrodes
an effective way to modify and control the • Foldable Displays
properties of graphene. Even more, defects • RF applications
alter the electronic structure and therefore
the properties.
Among properties engineering methods,
one can find:
• Chemical functionalization:
Attachment of functional groups to
the carbon atoms, influences chemical
properties/compatibility with other mate-
rials, what may be of crucial importance
in the production of composite materials.
• Substitutional functionalisation: 1 Transparent and conductive coa-
Substitution of carbon atoms in the ting made of graphene on poly
Diagram 1: Sheet resistance in relation to graphene structure with other atoms carbonate with 70% transmit-
electrical conductivty of a graphen layer influences the electronic structure and tance at 550nm and 600 Ohm / sq.
properties of graphene important for Size: 2x3 cm2
2 Application example 2: OLED