Graphene is a single atom-thick (0.34 nm) layer of carbon atoms laid out in a hexagonal lattice structure, with properties such as flexibility, optical transparency, high electrical and thermal conductivity that make it a unique material. The term CVD graphene refers to the production method: chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which differentiates this material from other forms of graphene. Since its discovery in 2004, graphene has facilitated new research and discoveries in materials science. This blog post examines CVD graphene, its production techniques, and its key applications.
What is CVD Graphene?
CVD graphene is produced via chemical vapor deposition which involves placing a metal substrate in a furnace and inserting a hydrocarbon gas source into a high-temperature (~1000 C) reaction chamber. At high temperatures, the hydrocarbon gas source decomposes into individual carbon atoms and binds to the surface of the metal, and then, as the atoms bind together, they form a continuous single-atom thick film of graphene. One of the key advantages of the CVD process is the ability to create single or multilayer graphene sheets and control layer thickness with conditions such as gas flow rate, temperature, and time of exposure.
It is important to note that there are other forms of graphene, such as exfoliated graphene and reduced graphene oxide. Both are powders used frequently in coatings and plastics and have their own specific challenges – such as lower conductivity compared to CVD graphene films, large-scale production difficulties, and issues in achieving uniformity. CVD graphene offers scalable large-area production, uniform thickness, and excellent properties, making it a popular choice for industrial applications.
More About the CVD Graphene Production Process
Producing CVD graphene takes several hours, and many factors can influence the final product. First of all, the thickness of the graphene layer can be controlled, which is advantageous in specific applications. However, the quality of the graphene can be negatively impacted by the gas flow rate, purity of the gas, substrate material, and temperature inside the furnace. If the temperature is too high or the purity of the gas is too low, this will impact the quality of the graphene, and a poor gas flow rate can impact the graphene’s thickness. Therefore, these must be carefully managed throughout the process.
Key Applications of CVD Graphene
CVD graphene is beneficial for a range of applications in research and industry due to its outstanding properties, where key industries include biomedicine, electronics, and energy. We look at its applications in more detail below.
CVD graphene can be implemented in a vast number of biomedical applications, such as biosensors, imaging technologies, monitoring devices, and wound dressings, to name a few. One of its primary applications in the healthcare industry is its capability to improve drugs and therapeutic treatments, especially for cancer patients.1
CVD graphene is used to manufacture composite materials because it enhances many chemical properties. For example, adding CVD graphene to polymers can enhance their thermal conductivity, making them ideal for thin-film coatings and sensor applications.2
One of CVD graphene’s most important applications is in the electronics industry, as it offers superior electrical conductivity and low resistivity. Much research has been conducted to improve CVD graphene applications in the electronics industry, enabling its use in thin-films, superconductors, optical displays, and a wide range of other electronic devices.
General Graphene Corporation and CVD Graphene
At General Graphene Corporation, we are determined to push the boundaries of graphene science and drive meaningful CVD graphene-based R&D for our customers. We pride ourselves in our ability to optimize our graphene material offerings to meet industrial application demands across a diverse breadth of sectors. Our aim is to accelerate the commercialization of CVD graphene materials by serving as an economical, reliable, and high-volume source of both monolayer and multilayer CVD graphene materials on various substrates.
Contact us today to learn more about CVD graphene and how it could benefit your industrial applications.