Further work on production of high quality graphene based materials from local graphite for high-tech application

NRC Grant:  16-138

Dr. Iresha R.M. Kottegoda
Industrial Technology Institute
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Materials Science and nanomaterials/advanced materials based high-tech applications



1. Upgrading the laboratory scale method developed for preparing few layer graphene, graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO).

2. To develop machinery and manual method to prepare graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide in commercial scale from local graphite.

3. Seeking novel low cost efficient method to do it.

4. Completing the technology development with pilot scale trials.

5. Investigation of high-tech applications in parallel such as energy storage devices, gas sensors, etc.

6. Necessary arrangements for technology transfer of any value added materials and products to the relevant industry.

7. Obtaining publications (SCI) and patents


Graphene is a single atomic layer of graphite arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice and has become the focus of research among almost the entire scientific community today. A vast variety of practical applications are emerging, including the creation of new materials and the manufacture of innovative electronics. In the proposed work graphene is synthesized from graphite oxide which is previously prepared from graphite. The novel materials are characterized using advanced instruments such as XRD, SEM, TEM, AFM, FTIR, XPS, BET, Raman, etc. The application of graphene based materials are investigated in energy storage and sensing devices.

The development of an economical and efficient method to synthesize high quality graphene from graphite for a particular application is really a challenge. Few layer Graphene (1-3 layers) will be prepared from high purity (99.9%) vein graphite of Sri Lanka by thermal reduction of highly oxidized graphite oxide. The oxidation and reduction method followed in the present investigation is effective in preparation of graphene on a large scale due to its simplicity. The graphene prepared would be promising for vast variety of future applications.

The interest in graphene for sensing applications is continuously increasing. It can be used to detect toxic, hazardous or flammable gases such as NO2, NH3 and ethanol etc. For the first time local graphite is used to prepare graphene based nanocomposite for gas sensing applications. The performance of the gas sensor based on graphene is very stable under normal operating conditions. Therefore, it is suggested that it has an immense potential in application as a sensor. The preliminary investigation was done last years. Further investigation will be done under the proposed project.

Supercapacitors have emerged as an important energy storage technology due to higher power delivery, high charge discharge cycleability and long life time. A new electrode material, graphene based nanocomposite is synthesized using graphite oxide. The composite showed excellent capacitance 742.6 Fg-1 at 5 mVs-1 scan rate using 1M H2SO4 as the electrolyte which is a very high value achievable for such system. The material showed excellent charge-discharge properties even at high current density of 1 Ag-1. Graphene nanocomposite is a potential electrode material for supercapacitors which will be further investigated under the proposed project.

It can be concluded that the local graphite is capable to produce graphene and composites which has a potential applications in various high-tech industries. The proposed wok will lead to produce high quality graphene in commercial scale for exportation purpose and for high-tech applications.