Graphene is a material which is made of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons. Graphene has limitless potential applications, in almost every industry (like aviation, electronics, medicine, and many more).
As graphene is hard to produce and also expensive, big efforts are made to find both cheap and effective ways to use and make graphene derivatives or related materials. Graphene oxide (GO) is one of those materials.
Four basic “Staudenmaier, Brodie, Hofmann and Hummers methods” are being used to synthesize Graphene Oxide. There are many variations of these methods by constant improvements being explored to achieve better results and cheaper processes. Carbon/oxygen ratios of the graphene oxide are often the evaluation criterias for the effectiveness of an oxidation process.
Graphene Oxide has a high surface area, and so this means that it can be fit for use as electrode material for batteries, solar cells and capacitors. Graphene Oxide is easier and cheaper to manufacture than graphene, and so may enter mass production and use sooner.
Graphene Oxide films can be deposited on essentially any substrate, and the films later are converted into a conductor. This is why GO is literally fit for use in the production of transparent conductive films, like the ones used for solar cells, flexible electronics, chemical sensors and more. GO is even studied as a tin-oxide (ITO) replacement in touch screens and batteries.
Graphene oxide is fluorescent, which makes it especially appropriate for various medical applications. drug-carriers, antibacterial materials, bio-sensing and disease detection are only some of the possibilities held by GO for the biomedical field.
GO can easily be mixed with different polymers and other materials, and enhance properties of composite materials like tensile strength, elasticity, conductivity and more. Graphene Oxide flakes attach one to another in solid form and to form thin and stable flat structures that can be folded, stretched and wrinkled. Such Graphene Oxide structures can be used for applications like ion conductors, hydrogen storage and nanofiltration membranes.