Flash healing of laser-induced graphene

Nat Commun. 2024 Apr 4;15(1):2925. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-47341-1.


The advancement of laser-induced graphene (LIG) technology has streamlined the fabrications of flexible graphene devices. However, the ultrafast kinetics triggered by laser irradiation generates intrinsic amorphous characteristics, leading to high resistivity and compromised performance in electronic devices. Healing graphene defects in specific patterns is technologically challenging by conventional methods. Herein, we report the rapid rectification of LIG's topological defects by flash Joule heating in milliseconds (referred to as F-LIG), whilst preserving its overall structure and porosity. The F-LIG exhibits a decreased ID/IG ratio from 0.84 - 0.33 and increased crystalline domain from Raman analysis, coupled with a 5-fold surge in conductivity. Pair distribution function and atomic-resolution imaging delineate a broader-range order of F-LIG with a shorter C-C bond of 1.425 Å. The improved crystallinity and conductivity of F-LIG with excellent flexibility enables its utilization in high-performance soft electronics and low-voltage disinfections. Notably, our F-LIG/polydimethylsiloxane strain sensor exhibits a gauge factor of 129.3 within 10% strain, which outperforms pristine LIG by 800%, showcasing significant potential for human-machine interfaces.