The laser-induced graphite (LIG), imperfect carbon atom-based foam, has many interesting properties, but it acquires new forces as part of the composite.
Rice James Tur's chemistry laboratories and Christopher Arnous, Professor at Benguion University in Negjev, Israel, have introduced a batch of LIG composites in the American Chemical Society magazine. ACS Nano which put the capabilities of the material into more stable packages.
By infusing LIG with plastic, rubber, cement, wax or other materials, laboratories produce composites with a wide range of possible applications. These new composite materials could be used in carrier electronics, thermal therapy, water treatment, anticorrosion and anti-icing work, anti-microbial surfaces, and even the creation of random access resistive devices.
The Tour Lab made the first LIG in 2014 when it used a commercial laser to burn the surface of a thin sheet of plain plastic polyimide. The heat of the laser turns a piece of material into scales of interconnected graphite. The one-step process has done much more material, and at a much lower cost than traditional chemical deposition.
Since then, Rice's lab and others have expanded the LIG's investigation, even by releasing the plastic to make it with wood and food. Last year, Rice researchers created graffiti foam to sculpt 3D objects.
"LIG is a great piece of material, but it's not mechanically stable," said Tour, who co-authored a review of the laser-induced graphon in the Accounts of Chemical Research magazine last year. "You can bend it and bend it but you can not rub it It will be interrupted If you do the so-called scotch tape testing, many will be removed But when you put it in a composite structure it really stiffens. "
To make the composites, the researchers poured or hot-pressed a thin layer of the second material onto a LIG attached to the polyimide. When the liquid hardened, they pulled the polyimide from the back for reuse, leaving the built-in, graphene flakes attached at the back.
Soft composites can be used for active electronics in flexible clothing, Tour says, while tougher composites make excellent superhydrophobic (water-evasive) materials. When tension is applied, the 20 micron layer of LIG kills surface bacteria by making hardened versions of the material suitable for antibacterial applications.
Composites made with liquid additives are best suited for preserving the LIG scales. In the lab they heat up quickly and reliably when stress is applied. This should allow the material to be used as a coating for de-icing or thawing, such as a flexible heating pad for injury treatment or clothing that is heated upon request.
"You just pound it and now you're transferring all the beautiful aspects of the LIG into a material that's very healthy," Tours said.