Laser-induced porous graphene films from commercial polymers

Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 10;5:5714. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6714.

Abstract

The cost effective synthesis and patterning of carbon nanomaterials is a challenge in electronic and energy storage devices. Here we report a one-step, scalable approach for producing and patterning porous graphene films with three-dimensional networks from commercial polymer films using a CO2 infrared laser. The sp3-carbon atoms are photothermally converted to sp2-carbon atoms by pulsed laser irradiation. The resulting laser-induced graphene (LIG) exhibits high electrical conductivity. The LIG can be readily patterned to interdigitated electrodes for in-plane microsupercapacitors with specific capacitances of >4 mF cm-2 and power densities of ~9 mW cm-2. Theoretical calculations partially suggest that enhanced capacitance may result from LIG's unusual ultra-polycrystalline lattice of pentagon-heptagon structures. Combined with the advantage of one-step processing of LIG in air from commercial polymer sheets, which would allow the employment of a roll-to-roll manufacturing process, this technique provides a rapid route to polymer-written electronic and energy storage devices.