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Development and industrialization of graphene materials technology

Issuing time:2019-04-21 14:27

In general terms, graphene is a monatomic layer of graphite, a two-dimensional carbon material composed of benzene ring structure (hexagonal honeycomb structure) periodically and closely packed carbon atoms. Its structure is very stable, and it is the thinnest material known at present. Graphene is a form of carbon allotrope, which also includes diamond, fullerene, carbon nanotubes, graphite, etc. (see figure 1).

Figure 1 structure diagram of graphene and other carbon materials

In practical applications, the precondition to give full play to the advantages of graphene is the development of large-scale, low-cost, structural and performance adjustable graphene mass preparation technology. Therefore, preparation technology is the core technology in the industrialization process of graphene materials.

At present, the internationally published methods for graphene preparation mainly include mechanical stripping, REDOX, epitaxial growth, chemical vapor phase precipitation (CVD), high temperature pyrolysis, liquid phase stripping and intercalation stripping. Table 1 compares the advantages and disadvantages of the above methods and their application fields.

Table 1 comparison of preparation methods of common graphene materials

Applications of graphene

Graphene has a wide range of applications because of its many excellent properties. In general, its applications can be divided into two categories (see table 2) : industrial practices using graphene to change or enhance the properties of the matrix are classified as graphene as an auxiliary material (figure 2); Using the properties of graphene materials themselves, it is classified as the industrial practice of graphene materials as the main material (figure 3, 4).

FIG. 2 typical applications of graphene materials as auxiliary materials: lithium ion batteries/ultracapacitors (top left),

Functional rubber and plastic materials (top right), functional fiber/fabric (bottom left), functional coating/coating (bottom right)

FIG. 3 application of graphene as the main material in the field of flexible electronic devices: flexible display (top left),

Flexible sensor (top right), flexible electrothermal film (bottom)

FIG. 4 application of graphene as the main material in the field of high-frequency electronic devices: high-frequency transistor (top left),

Terahertz device (top right), laser (bottom)

Table 2 typical application fields of graphene materials

Market application and industrialization prospect of graphene

(1) industrialization overview

The impact of graphene and related materials on the market and industry is mainly reflected in two areas. First, in the field of energy storage and conversion, and in the field of new functional light composite materials, it is possible to integrate graphene and its materials into new aircraft, buses, electric vehicles and other transportation systems. Second, in the field of information, graphene materials are expected to be used in new information processing and communication systems due to their special electrical and optical properties. For now, the value of graphene in the first sector is emerging and starting to gain traction in the market, potentially faster than in high-end areas such as microelectronics chips.

At present, two relatively mature preparation systems of graphene powder and graphene film have been formed in the market, and the overall quality of graphene materials is rising. Graphene materials have moved from laboratory research to industrial development, and the graphene industry shows a good development trend. During the 13th five-year plan period, the graphene industry will gradually form four categories of industries: graphene-based electrode materials for lithium batteries for electric vehicles, graphene-based anticorrosive coatings for Marine engineering, graphene films for flexible electronics and graphene-based high-performance thermal interface materials for photoelectricity. The industrial scale of the whole industry is expected to exceed 100 billion yuan.

(2) market size and industrialization prediction

Gartner's technology maturity curve describes the emerging industry of graphene, as shown in figure 5. Graphene is currently in the peak area of interest in the figure. According to the maturity cycle of silicon material industry in 20 years, it will take 5-10 years to fully develop and mature graphene industrialization, that is, after 2020.

Figure 5 Gartner technology maturity curve of graphene industry

China graphene industry alliance predicts that by 2020, the scale of graphene industrialization will make a breakthrough, and the global graphene material market will reach 100 billion yuan, distributed in new energy, electronic information, composite materials, energy conservation and environmental protection, thermal management, biomedicine and other fields.

The industrialization of graphene materials can be roughly divided into the following three stages based on the development level of graphene technology and industrial status, as well as the prediction of the application trend of graphene in various countries around the world.

In the next 10 years, graphene is mainly used as a modified material to improve the performance of traditional materials and functional devices. Its main application fields include power batteries/supercapacitors, anticorrosive coatings, modified chemical fibers, modified rubber and plastic materials and heat-conducting and heat-dissipating materials, etc. Its value lies in supporting the upgrading of traditional industries.

In the next 10 to 20 years, graphene will play a key role in the field of flexible electronics industry. In the fields of flexible display, flexible sensing, wearable devices and other fields, it will give birth to transformative technologies and emerging industries. It is expected that by 2030, graphene-related materials and technologies will be directly converted into consumer goods and reach consumers.

In the next 20 years, the technology of graphene as the core material of the next generation of high-frequency transistors will mature, which will lead to a disruptive technological revolution in the field of electronic information technology.

Graphene industrialization bottleneck

The bottleneck of graphene industrialization is a technical problem. There are still technical challenges in the preparation of high-quality, low-cost and green graphene materials. Second, the cost problem. The high cost and long cycle limit the application of graphene materials. Third, the market problem. So far, the graphene industry chain has not been integrated.

Suggestions on the development of graphene industrialization

To promote the further development of graphene industry, embody its application value, should be the key breakthrough of graphene materials standardization and low cost, take a dragon pattern applied materials production, development and application of the terminal link together, actively promote the graphene materials demonstration application, build an industry chain, to strengthen the construction of graphene standard system, building industrial innovation platform. Specifically, there are four Suggestions for industrial development.

We will carry out traction and promotion for major projects

Guided by government policies, focusing on the major needs of China's economic and social development and national security, integrating resources such as innovation and industrialization, focusing on key projects, implementing a number of major projects, developing a number of key products and representative processes with strong traction and promotion, and improving the level of independent development and design and system integration capability. We will make breakthroughs in a number of common key technologies and engineering and industrialization bottlenecks in key areas such as new energy vehicles, Marine engineering, new-generation information technology, and national defense and military industry, improve graphene innovation, industrialization and international competitiveness, drive the overall comprehensive strength development of the material industry, and seize the commanding heights of international competition. For example, the graphene standardization project, the supercomputer project, the wearable smart device project, the energy storage project, the high-efficiency new energy project, etc.

Application demonstration in key industries

We should stick to the combination of the national chess board for graphene development and the guidance of different industries, make overall planning, integrate resources, and make a reasonable layout to define the general direction of graphene development. We should encourage nationwide innovation, guide the transformation of innovation results, improve the level of basic scientific theories, promote the in-depth development of various industries, summarize and accumulate industrial experience, accelerate the overall level of graphene application, and carry out application demonstration work in key industries. For example, biosensors, chemical sensors, functional coatings and interfaces, high energy conversion efficiency electrodes, high capacity batteries, capacitors, energy storage devices, nanofluids, nanoresonators, semiconductor devices, passive components for rf, flexible electronic devices and systems, etc.

Industry, education, research and application need to be coordinated

Production with multi-channel synergy, promoting the industrialization of graphene by production units, schools, research institutions and the user interaction, focus their superior resources, thus forming the integration of research, development, production, application and efficient system, giving full play to the advantages of integrated in the operation process, improve the industrial chain from the experimental results to the practical application of the overall efficiency, reduce the conversion cost. Establish upstream graphene production enterprises, including graphite mining enterprises, equipment manufacturing enterprises, and downstream application enterprises, including electronics, batteries, biomedicine, aerospace enterprises, and other industrial alliances and technological innovation alliances with universities, research institutes and other scientific research institutions. Abstract common technology, strengthen graphene public technical services, reduce the cost of time, capital, technology, process, equipment and talent in the process of graphene industrialization, and provide a high standard and high quality starting point and cooperation channel for the alliance units. At present, China has established two alliance units, China graphene industry technology innovation strategic alliance and Beijing, tianjin and hebei graphene industry alliance.

We will use innovation platforms to gather development

We will improve the national graphene innovation system, strengthen top-level design, and accelerate the establishment of a graphene innovation network with an innovation center as the core carrier and a public service platform and application industry data center as the support. Establish a market-oriented innovation and application direction selection mechanism as well as a risk sharing and benefit sharing mechanism to encourage innovation. We will establish a graphene innovation industrial park and base, and introduce incubators for the transformation of scientific and technological achievements and technology industrialization accelerators. We should make use of local talents, resources, capital and other advantages to develop industrial clusters, gather emerging industries, give full play to industrial cluster effect, and accelerate the innovation, application and industrialization of graphene. A number of public service platforms will be set up to promote collaborative innovation and industrialization of graphene, industry standards will be standardized, and professional services such as technology research and development, technology evaluation, technology trading, inspection and testing, quality certification and talent training will be provided to improve the efficiency of scientific and technological achievements transformation and the speed of promotion and application.

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