Single-layer graphene membranes by crack-free transfer for gas mixture separation

Shiqi Huang, Mostapha Dakhchoune, Wen Luo, Emad Oveisi, Guangwei He, Mojtaba Rezaei, Jing Zhao, Duncan T. L. Alexander, Andreas Züttel, Michael S. Strano & Kumar Varoon Agrawal (Nature)


The single-layer graphene film, when incorporated with molecular-sized pores, is predicted to be the ultimate membrane. However, the major bottlenecks have been the crack-free transfer of large-area graphene on a porous support, and the incorporation of molecular-sized nanopores. Herein, we report a nanoporous-carbon-assisted transfer technique, yielding a relatively large area (1 mm2), crack-free, suspended graphene film. Gas-sieving (H2/CH4 selectivity up to 25) is observed from the intrinsic defects generated during the chemical-vapor deposition of graphene. Despite the ultralow porosity of 0.025%, an attractive H2 permeance (up to 4.1 × 10−7 mol m−2 s−1 Pa−1) is observed. Finally, we report ozone functionalization-based etching and pore-modification chemistry to etch hydrogen-selective pores, and to shrink the pore-size, improving H2 permeance (up to 300%) and H2/CH4selectivity (up to 150%). Overall, the scalable transfer, etching, and functionalization methods developed herein are expected to bring nanoporous graphene membranes a step closer to reality.

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