PEGASUS machine operational
The research team of the Plasma Engineering Laboratory (group N-PRiME) has built a versatile plasma-based machine, producing high-quality graphene and derivatives at gram-scale and with high level of customization (e.g., graphene, N-graphene and hybrid graphene-metal-based nanostructures).
This achievement was made within project PEGASUS (Plasma Enabled and Graphene Allowed Synthesis of Unique nanoStructures), which has contributed significantly to the new cutting-edge field of Plasma Nanoscience by delivering a disruptive plasma technology for the synthesis-by-design of advanced 2D materials.
The new machine allows the continuous large-scale conversion of cheap carbon-based precursors (such as bioethanol and greenhouse gases) into high-valued, high-quality graphene and derivatives with tailored properties, using a high-yield (40 mg/min) cost-effective single-step process, at ambient conditions. PEGASUS technology ensures an effective and reproducible control, at atomic scale, over the fluxes of energy and material towards the growing nanostructures, which feature the desired morphological, structural and functional properties, with high selectivity regarding single atomic layers (~50%). The technology is versatile, also allowing the synthesis of nanocomposite materials, using graphene as highly conductive matrixes where metal oxides/sulfides/potassium nanoparticles are incorporated.
“Thanks to the PEGASUS project, we were able to extend 2D materials expertise towards a wider set of key enabling technologies, namely advanced materials with higher performance, nanotechnology, and advanced manufacturing.”, says Elena Tatarova (PI of PEGASUS).
The unique properties of the materials produced foster exciting applications, e.g. related to the next-generation of energy conversion and storage devices, chemical and biological sensing, metamaterials and inkjet devices. To capitalize on this novel plasma technology, several patent applications have been filed (two already granted), protecting the process, the system and the machine.