Graphene has become one of the most important materials of
the 21st century and there exists a huge variety of methods for making it. Quite a few of these are well out of the reach of the average small lab, independent researcher, inventor and experimenter. However many of them are quite approachable and have been demonstrated in my videos on youtube
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Mostly, people have been interested in producing graphene and a lot of the methods get you straight there. However, initially, the best way of making large amounts of graphene was through a wet chemical method that first made graphene oxide and from that you went back to graphene. As better and better methods were developed for getting straight to graphene developed the wet chemical methods fell behind as they were dangerous, expensive and needed practice to get right.
But, graphene oxide as a material in itself is well worth looking and and shouldn’t be abandoned in the rush for graphene.
One of the best ways of producing large amounts of graphene oxide via a wet chemical method is by the so-called ‘Tour’ method, which is an adaptation of the Hummer’s method.
The Method in this guide is from the paper ‘Improved Synthesis of Graphene Oxide’ that appeared in ACSNano in July 2010. In the month that it appeared it was one of the most downloaded of all scientific papers.
The method is really very simple, but if you are going to try it you will need a heated stirrer as you have to stir the mix at 50 degrees centigrade for 12 hours and nobody wants to do that by hand!