Laser-Induced Graphene

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1609-1620
Journal / PublicationAccounts of Chemical Research
Issue number7
Online published20 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


ConspectusResearch on graphene abounds, from fundamental science to device applications. In pursuit of complementary morphologies, formation of graphene foams is often preferred over the native two-dimensional (2D) forms due to the higher available area. Graphene foams have been successfully prepared by several routes including chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods and by wet-chemical approaches. For these methods, one often needs either high temperature furnaces and highly pure gases or large amounts of strong acids and oxidants. In 2014, using a commercial laser scribing system as found in most machine shops, a direct lasing of polyimide (PI) plastic films in the air converted the PI into 3D porous graphene, a material termed laser-induced graphene (LIG). This is a one-step method without the need for high-temperature reaction conditions, solvent, or subsequent treatments, and it affords graphene with many five-and seven-membered rings. With such an atomic arrangement, one might call LIG "kinetic graphene" since there is no annealing in the process that causes the rearrangement to the preferred all-six-membered-ring form. In this Account, we will first introduce the approaches that have been developed for making LIG and to control the morphology as either porous sheets or fibrils, and to control porosity, composition, and surface properties. The surfaces can be varied from being either superhydrophilic with a 0° contact angle with water to being superhydrophobic having >150° contact angle with water. While it was initially thought that the LIG process could only be performed on PI, it was later shown that a host of other polymeric substrates, nonpolymers, metal/plastic composites, and biodegradable and naturally occurring materials and foods could be used as platforms for generating LIG. Methods of preparation include roll-to-roll production for fabrication of in-plane electronics and two different 3D printing (additive manufacturing) routes to specific shapes of LIG monoliths using both laminated object manufacturing and powder bed fabrication methods. Use of the LIG in devices is performed very simply. This is showcased with high performance supercapacitors, fuel cell materials for oxygen reduction reactions, water splitting for both hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions coming from the same plastic sheet, sensor devices, oil/water purification platforms, and finally applications in both passive and active biofilm inhibitors. So the ease of formation of LIG, its simple scale-up, and its utility for a range of applications highlights the easy transition of this substrate-bound graphene foam into commercial device platforms.

Citation Format(s)

Laser-Induced Graphene. / Ye, Ruquan; James, Dustin K.; Tour, James M.

In: Accounts of Chemical Research, Vol. 51, No. 7, 17.07.2018, p. 1609-1620.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review