Graphene nanoribbons as an advanced precursor for making carbon fiber

ACS Nano. 2013 Feb 26;7(2):1628-37. doi: 10.1021/nn305506s. Epub 2013 Jan 30.


Graphene oxide nanoribbons (GONRs) and chemically reduced graphene nanoribbons (crGNRs) were dispersed at high concentrations in chlorosulfonic acid to form anisotropic liquid crystal phases. The liquid crystal solutions were spun directly into hundreds of meters of continuous macroscopic fibers. The relationship of fiber morphology to coagulation bath conditions was studied. The effects of colloid concentration, annealing temperature, spinning air gap, and pretension during annealing on the fibers' performance were also investigated. Heat treatment of the as-spun GONR fibers at 1500 °C produced thermally reduced graphene nanoribbon (trGNR) fibers with a tensile strength of 378 MPa, Young's modulus of 36.2 GPa, and electrical conductivity of 285 S/cm, which is considerably higher than that in other reported graphene-derived fibers. This better trGNR fiber performance was due to the air gap spinning and annealing with pretension that produced higher molecular alignment within the fibers, as determined by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The specific modulus of trGNR fibers is higher than that of the commercial general purpose carbon fibers and commonly used metals such as Al, Cu, and steel. The properties of trGNR fibers can be further improved by optimizing the spinning conditions with higher draw ratio, annealing conditions with higher pretensions, and using longer flake GONRs. This technique is a new high-carbon-yield approach to make the next generation carbon fibers based on solution-based liquid crystal phase spinning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Carbon / chemistry*
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Graphite / chemistry*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Liquid Crystals / chemistry
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*
  • Solubility


  • Carbon Fiber
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Carbon
  • Graphite