Rutgers Researchers have developed a novel and scalable approach to fabricate pristine holey graphene nanoplatelets nearly free of defects and metal residues via dry microwave irritation. The hole edges can be controlled to be rich in zigzag geometry, which is the preferred structure for catalytic and electronic applications.
The researchers have tested the potentials of this invention in catalytic applications in both electrochemical and chemical reactions. Molecular oxygen can be reduced directly to water with a 4e pathway in acidic solutions, which is critical for current proton-exchange membrane fuel cell application. In alkaline solutions, molecular oxygen can be reduced via a 2e pathway to generate hydrogen peroxide, an industrially important green oxidant. In the catalytic reduction of nitrobenzene to aniline/azobenzene, 99% conversion and 100% selectivity toward azobenzene could be achieved under hydrogen pressure, while adding ~1 wt% iron into the reaction system altered the selectivity to 100% aniline with 99% conversion. The reaction selectivity can also be changed toward aniline as the main product (>90% selectivity with 100% conversion) by simply switching from the hydrogen environment to an inert Ar environment without the requirement of adding any iron into the system.
- Fuel cell
- Batteries and capacitors
- Flexible microelectronic devices
- Gas storage/separation
- Oil absorption
- Predetermined hole size, hole edge geometry (zigzag vs. armchair), thickness and lateral dimension
- Basal planes are nearly free of defects
- Rapid production and low energy consumption
- Eco-friendly, with no metal-containing compounds involved in the production
Intellectual Property & Development Status:
Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.