Cyclic production of biocompatible few-layer graphene ink with in-line shear-mixing for inkjet-printed electrodes and Li-ion energy storage

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThe scalable production of two-dimensional (2D) materials is needed to accelerate their adoption to industry. In this work, we present a low-cost in-line and enclosed process of exfoliation based on high-shear mixing to create aqueous dispersions of few-layer graphene, on a large scale with a jats:italicY</jats:italic>jats:subw</jats:sub> ~ 100% yield by weight and throughput of jats:italicϕ</jats:italic> ~ 8.3 g hjats:sup−1</jats:sup>. The in-line process minimises basal plane defects compared to traditional beaker-based shear mixing which we attribute to a reduced Reynolds number, Re ~ 10jats:sup5</jats:sup>. We demonstrate highly conductive graphene material with conductivities as high as jats:italicσ</jats:italic> ∼ 1.5 × 10jats:sup4 </jats:sup>S mjats:sup−1</jats:sup> leading to sheet-resistances as low as jats:italicR</jats:italic>jats:subjats:italics</jats:italic></jats:sub> ∼ 2.6 Ω □jats:sup−1</jats:sup> (jats:italict</jats:italic> ∼ 25 μm). The process is ideal for formulating non-toxic, biocompatible and highly concentrated (jats:italicc</jats:italic> ∼ 100 mg mljats:sup−1</jats:sup>) inks. We utilise the graphene inks for inkjet printable conductive interconnects and lithium-ion battery anode composites that demonstrate a low-rate lithium storage capability of 370 mAh gjats:sup−1</jats:sup>, close to the theoretical capacity of graphite. Finally, we demonstrate the biocompatibility of the graphene inks with human colon cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells at high jats:italicc</jats:italic> ∼ 1 mg mljats:sup−1</jats:sup> facilitating a route for the use of the graphene inks in applications that require biocompatibility at high jats:italicc</jats:italic> such as electronic textiles.</jats:p>

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Online Publication Date
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40 Engineering, 4016 Materials Engineering, 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
Journal Title
npj 2D Materials and Applications
Journal ISSN
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) (SFI/12/RC/2278_P2, SFI/12/RC/2278_P2)
RCUK | Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (NS/A000015/1, NS/A000015/1, EP/P027628/1)