There are four major methods for making
graphene. The fastest is probably micromechanical
exfoliation which is just a fancy way of saying
that you peel a piece of graphene off of a piece
of graphite using a piece of scotch tape. This
method results in sheets of single layer graphene,
around 1 mm2.
To make larger
sheets of graphene, epitaxial growth with chemical
vapor deposition (CVD) is used. In this method, a
layer of graphene is grown on a metal surface by
decomposing hydrocarbons. These layers are around
Another method for making
"large" graphene sheets is epitaxial growth on a
crystalline SiC substrate. The size of graphene
sheets grown on SiC is determined by the size of
the substrate, so they can be fairly large. The
graphene sheets must be removed from these
substrates by etching.
The final method is
exfoliation of graphene in a solvent to create
colloidal suspensions of graphene. However this
method is not usually used to make
single-crystalline graphene samples. Instead, the
solution is deposited on a surface to make
multi-crystalline graphene layers.
is not completely transparent to light, although a
single layer has >99% transmission. Multiple
layers of graphene will indeed absorb more
Zhu, Y., Murali, S.,
Cai, W., Li, X., Suk, J. W., Potts, J. R. and
Ruoff, R. S. (2010), Graphene and Graphene Oxide:
Synthesis,Properties, and Applications. Adv.
Mater., 22: 3906-3924.
Geim, A.K. (2009),
Graphene: Status and Prospects. Science,
Park, S. and Ruoff, R.
(2009), Chemical Methods for the Production of
Graphenes. Nature Nanotechnology, 4,
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