Three-Dimensional Printed Graphene Foams
An automated metal powder three-dimensional (3D) printing method for in situ synthesis of free-standing 3D graphene foams (GFs) was successfully modeled by manually placing a mixture of Ni and sucrose onto a platform and then using a commercial CO2 laser to convert the Ni/sucrose mixture into 3D GFs. The sucrose acted as the solid carbon source for graphene, and the sintered Ni metal acted as the catalyst and template for graphene growth.
This simple and efficient method combines powder metallurgy templating with 3D printing techniques and enables direct in situ 3D printing of GFs with no high-temperature furnace or lengthy growth process required. The 3D printed GFs show high-porosity (∼99.3%), low-density (∼0.015g cm–3), high-quality, and multilayered graphene features.
The GFs have an electrical conductivity of ∼8.7 S cm–1, a remarkable storage modulus of ∼11 kPa, and a high damping capacity of ∼0.06. These excellent physical properties of 3D printed GFs indicate potential applications in fields requiring rapid design and manufacturing of 3D carbon materials, for example, energy storage devices, damping materials, and sound absorption.