Graphite Flakes

Assignment from the BioE271: Frugal Science (Global Cohort) made by Diana Sandoval and Sergio Oliveros.


Context

As nanotechnology students, one example you will always hear is about how graphene was made/discovered. We have heard many times about the story of how with a block of graphite and scotch tape it was possible to obtain graphene layers. We wanted to take this as an inspiration for this assignment.

Objective

Observe graphite flakes of different thicknesses.

Process

We started by using graphite paper and regular tape. We peeled the first layer and then made consecutive copies of the original (n=10).

The image on the top left corner shows a piece of graphite paper before being peeled, while the image on the bottom left corner shows the same piece of graphite paper after peeling. The image on the right side shows a piece of tape with the first graphite layer.

The image on the left side shows the piece of graphite paper and the copies obtained when using tape to peel the flakes from its surface. In the image of the right I (Diana) am preparing the samples.

Results

The graphite paper became rough after peeling the flakes with the tape.

We observed copies number 1, 4, 7, 10, and the original tape we used for the 1st peeling. We also used Kapton tape to see if we could spot any differences compared to regular tape.

n=1
n=0 in kapton tape
n=4
n=7
n=10
Original after 10 copies were made of it

We can observe that the size of the flakes gets smaller with increasing the number of the copy.

We still need to practice focusing with the Foldscope, we observed some chromatic artifacts when we observe the small details around the flakes.

The films are conductive during the first copies, but by copy n=10 the films are not conductive anymore.

The conductivity of graphite flakes after peeling the graphite paper for the 1st time.
Conductivity of graphite flakes after copy n=10.

One Comment Add yours

  1. paolamr says:

    wow this is awesome!

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