Large-range control of the microstructures and properties of three-dimensional porous graphene

Sci Rep. 2013;3:2117. doi: 10.1038/srep02117.


Graphene-based three-dimensional porous macrostructures are believed of great importance in various applications, e.g. supercapacitors, photovoltaic cells, sensors and high-efficiency sorbents. However, to precisely control the microstructures and properties of this material to meet different application requirements in industrial practice remains challenging. We herein propose a facile and highly effective strategy for large-range tailoring the porous architecture and its properties by a modified freeze casting process. The pore sizes and wall thicknesses of the porous graphene can be gradually tuned by 80 times (from 10 to 800 μm) and 4000 times (from 20 nm to 80 μm), respectively. The property experiences the changing from hydrophilic to hydrophobic, with the Young's Modulus varying by 15 times. The fundamental principle of the porous microstructure evolution is discussed in detail. Our results demonstrate a very convenient and general protocol to finely tailor the structure and further benefit the various applications of porous graphene.