Nature communications

Laser-induced porous graphene films from commercial polymers.

PMID 25493446


The cost effective synthesis and patterning of carbon nanomaterials is a challenge in electronic and energy storage devices. Here we report a one-step, scalable approach for producing and patterning porous graphene films with three-dimensional networks from commercial polymer films using a CO2 infrared laser. The sp(3)-carbon atoms are photothermally converted to sp(2)-carbon atoms by pulsed laser irradiation. The resulting laser-induced graphene (LIG) exhibits high electrical conductivity. The LIG can be readily patterned to interdigitated electrodes for in-plane microsupercapacitors with specific capacitances of >4 mF cm(-2) and power densities of ~9 mW cm(-2). Theoretical calculations partially suggest that enhanced capacitance may result from LIG's unusual ultra-polycrystalline lattice of pentagon-heptagon structures. Combined with the advantage of one-step processing of LIG in air from commercial polymer sheets, which would allow the employment of a roll-to-roll manufacturing process, this technique provides a rapid route to polymer-written electronic and energy storage devices.