Promising applications of graphene and graphene-based nanostructures
Advances in Natural Sciences: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2016, Article number 023002
The present article is a review of research works on promising applications of graphene and graphene-based nanostructures. It contains five main scientific subjects. The first one is the research on graphene-based transparent and flexible conductive films for displays and electrodes: efficient method ensuring uniform and controllable deposition of reduced graphene oxide thin films over large areas, large-scale pattern growth of graphene films for stretchble transparent electrodes, utilization of graphene-based transparent conducting films and graphene oxide-based ones in many photonic and optoelectronic devices and equipments such as the window electrodes of inorganic, organic and dye-sensitized solar cells, organic light-emitting diodes, light-emitting electrochemical cells, touch screens, flexible smart windows, graphene-based saturated absorbers in laser cavities for ultrafast generations, graphene-based flexible, transparent heaters in automobile defogging/deicing systems, heatable smart windows, graphene electrodes for high-performance organic field-effect transistors, flexible and transparent acoustic actuators and nanogenerators etc. The second scientific subject is the research on conductive inks for printed electronics to revolutionize the electronic industry by producing cost-effective electronic circuits and sensors in very large quantities: preparing high mobility printable semiconductors, low sintering temperature conducting inks, graphene-based ink by liquid phase exfoliation of graphite in organic solutions, and developing inkjet printing technique for mass production of high-quality graphene patterns with high resolution and for fabricating a variety of goodperformance electronic devices, including transparent conductors, embedded resistors, thin-film transistors and micro supercapacitors. The third scientific subject is the research on graphenebased separation membranes: molecular dynamics simulation study on the mechanisms of the transport of molecules, vapors and gases through nanopores in graphene membranes, experimental works investigating selective transport of different molecules through nanopores in single-layer graphene and graphene-based membranes toward the water desalination, chemical mixture separation and gas control. Various applications of graphene in bio-medicine are the contents of the fourth scientific subject of the review. They include the DNA translocations through nanopores in graphene membranes toward the fabrication of devices for genomic screening, in particular DNA sequencing; subnanometre trans-electrode membranes with potential applications to the fabrication of very high resolution, high throughput nanopore-based single-molecule detectors; antibacterial activity of graphene, graphite oxide, graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide; nanopore sensors for nucleic acid analysis; utilization of graphene multilayers as the gates for sequential release of proteins from surface; utilization of graphenebased electroresponsive scaffolds as implants for on-demand drug delivery etc. The fifth scientific subject of the review is the research on the utilization of graphene in energy storage devices: ternary self-assembly of ordered metal oxide-graphene nanocomposites for electrochemical energy storage; self-assembled graphene/carbon nanotube hybrid films for supercapacitors; carbon-based supercapacitors fabricated by activation of graphene; functionalized graphene sheet-sulfure nanocomposite for using as cathode material in rechargeable lithium batteries; tunable three-dimensional pillared carbon nanotube-graphene networks for high-performance capacitance; fabrications of electrochemical micro-capacitors using thin films of carbon nanotubes and chemically reduced graphenes; laser scribing of highperformance and flexible graphene-based electrochemical capacitors; emergence of nextgeneration safe batteries featuring graphene-supported Li metal anode with exceptionally high energy or power densities; fabrication of anodes for lithium ion batteries from crumpled graphene-encapsulated Si nanoparticles; liquid-mediated dense integration of graphene materials for compact capacitive energy storage; scalable fabrication of high-power graphene microsupercapacitors for flexible and on-chip energy storage; superior micro-supercapacitors based on graphene quantum dots; all-graphene core-sheat microfibres for all-solid-state, stretchable fibriform supercapacitors and wearable electronic textiles; micro-supercapacitors with high electrochemical performance based on three-dimensional graphene-carbon nanotube carpets; macroscopic nitrogen-doped graphene hydrogels for ultrafast capacitors; manufacture of scalable ultra-thin and high power density graphene electrochemical capacitor electrodes by aqueous exfoliation and spray deposition; scalable synthesis of hierarchically structured carbon nanotubegraphene fibers for capacitive energy storage; phosphorene-graphene hybrid material as a highcapacity anode material for sodium-ion batteries. Beside above-presented promising applications of graphene and graphene-based nanostructures, other less widespread, but perhaps not less important, applications of graphene and graphene-based nanomaterials, are also briefly discussed.