Preparation of Layered Carbon-Based Nanomaterials via Thermochemical Treatment
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Two-dimensional (2D) carbon nanosheet material graphene is the basic structure for all the different allotropes of carbon such as fullerenes (0D), carbon nanotubes (1D), and graphite (3D). Graphene is a two-dimensional (2D) layered material comprised of a hexagonal network of carbon atoms in a crystalline form. Thus, graphene is an atom thick planar sheet of sp2 bonded carbon atoms densely packed into a honeycomb crystal lattice, the basic structure for graphite.
Graphene has risen to fame in this century due its extraordinary properties, which originates from its electronic configuration, sp2 bonding and ability to functionalize with other elements and molecules. Graphene and its derivatives such as graphene oxide have shown promising research results for application in optical electronics, photovoltaic systems, nanocomposites, energy storage devices, and others. However, commercialization of graphene production and fabrication of graphene related products are still under investigation with a few pilot production plants.
In this doctoral research, carbon nanosheets were prepared from renewable carbonaceous materials. Specifically, carbon nanosheets were synthesized from agricultural plants such as cassava, rice and corn. The synthesis approach employed catalysts to promote gradual removal of glycosidic linkages in the renewables to form layered structures, and reducing atmosphere to remove oxygen-containing groups and retain graphitic layers. The synthesis process is cost-effective and can easily scale to produce layered carbon-based nanomaterials. The synthesized carbon nanosheets exhibited exceptional properties such as a specific surface area of up to 2956 m2/g and a total pore volume exceeding 5.1 mL/g.