Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware

Research Summary

Infrared Reduction of Graphine Oxide

Authors: Kathryn M. Scrafford, Qing Zhang (PhDME), and Bingqing Wei


Graphene oxide is an insulator that is inexpensive to synthesize and, when irradiated with infrared light, is reduced to create an effective conductor with resistivity one ten-thousandth that of the original.

Lightscribe-enabled disk burners use infrared light to burn images onto specific Lightscribe disks, both of which are inexpensive.


Determine whether Lightscribe technology can be used to reduce graphene oxide films.

Analyze the difference in resistivities between normal and irradiated graphene oxide


Graphene oxide has many functional groups attached to the carbon structure. When irradiated with infrared light, the concentration of functional groups decreases, releasing gases such as carbon dioxide and oxygen.

Flexible substrates were used to facilitate the removal of the graphene oxide film after reduction.
* A few of the substrates successfully used were aluminum foil, non-stick aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and tape.


Non-stick aluminum foil was cut into a disk substrate for easier removal of the graphene oxide file after reduction.

The aluminum substrate is coated in graphene oxide and air-dried for 24 hours to create a thin film.

The graphene oxide sample is then spun through four full cycles in the Lightscribe disk drive.


Before reduction, the resistivity of graphene oxide averages 20 MΩ-cm.

After reduction using the infrared Lightscribe laser, the resistivity of the graphene oxide averaged 1000 Ω-cm. This is higher than the resistivity of pristine graphene, but it is much lower than that of the original graphene oxide.


Before reduction, the surface of the graphene oxide film is smooth with slight creases.

After reduction, the surface of the graphene oxide film is cracked and uneven.


Lightscribe technology will reduce the majority of a graphene oxide film.

Gases released during the reduction likely caused the surface of the graphene oxide film to crack.

The average resistivity of the reduced graphene oxide was five hundred-thousandths the resistivity of the regular graphene oxide film.


Using spin coating to achieve a smoother film of reduced graphene oxide.

Reduce the surface damage caused during graphene oxide reduction.


This work is supported by the National Science Foundation Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education: Interdisciplinary Research-Based Education

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