Rapid production of kilogram-scale graphene nanoribbons with tunable interlayer spacing for an array of renewable energy

Fan Liu, Yi Hu, Zehua Qu, Xin Ma, Zaifeng Li, Rui Zhu, Yan Yan, Bihan Wen, Qianwen Ma, Minjie Liu, Shuang Zhao, Zhanxi Fan, Jie Zeng, Mingkai Liu, Zhong Jin, Zhiqun Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) are widely recognized as intriguing building blocks for high-performance electronics and catalysis owing to their unique width-dependent bandgap and ample lone pair electrons on both sides of GNR, respectively, over the graphene nanosheet counterpart. However, it remains challenging to mass-produce kilogram-scale GNRs to render their practical applications. More importantly, the ability to intercalate nanofillers of interest within GNR enables in-situ large-scale dispersion and retains structural stability and properties of nanofillers for enhanced energy conversion and storage. This, however, has yet to be largely explored. Herein, we report a rapid, low-cost freezing–rolling–capillary compression strategy to yield GNRs at a kilogram scale with tunable interlayer spacing for situating a set of functional nanomaterials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage. Specifically, GNRs are created by sequential freezing, rolling, and capillary compression of large-sized graphene oxide nanosheets in liquid nitrogen, followed by pyrolysis. The interlayer spacing of GNRs can be conveniently regulated by tuning the amount of nanofillers of different dimensions added. As such, heteroatoms; metal single atoms; and 0D, 1D, and 2D nanomaterials can be readily in-situ intercalated into the GNR matrix, producing a rich variety of functional nanofiller-dispersed GNR nanocomposites. They manifest promising performance in electrocatalysis, battery, and supercapacitor due to excellent electronic conductivity, catalytic activity, and structural stability of the resulting GNR nanocomposites. The freezing–rolling–capillary compression strategy is facile, robust, and generalizable. It renders the creation of versatile GNR-derived nanocomposites with adjustable interlay spacing of GNR, thereby underpinning future advances in electronics and clean energy applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2303262120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume120
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 the Author(s).

Keywords

  • energy conversion
  • functional nanofiller-dispersed GNR nanocomposites
  • graphene nanoribbon
  • rapid mass production
  • storage
  • tunable interlayer spacing

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