According to Next Big Future, the researchers made a thin film of graphene oxide by chemically exfoliating graphite into graphene flakes, which were then mixed with water and concentrated by centrifugation into a thick slurry.
The slurry was then spread by bar coating, something like a squeegee across a large plate. When the slurry dries, it becomes a large-area transparent film that can be carefully lifted off without tearing. The film is then cut into narrow strips and wound with an automatic fiber scroller, resulting in a fiber that can be knotted and stretched without fracturing.
"We found this graphene oxide fiber was very strong, much better than other carbon fibers. We believe that pockets of air inside the fiber keep it from being brittle," says
Terrones and colleagues believe this method opens up multiple possibilities for useful products. For instance, removing oxygen from the GO fiber results in a graphene fiber with high electrical conductivity.
Adding silver nanorods to the graphene film would increase conductivity to the same as copper's, which could make it a much lighter weight replacement for copper transmission lines. Many kinds of highly sensitive sensors are imaginable.
"The importance is that we can do almost any material and that could open up many avenues, it's a lightweight material with multifunctional properties," Terrones remarks. And the main ingredient, graphite, is mined and sold by the tonSuper-stretchable yarn made of graphene
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