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Environment friendly dual-frequency ultrasonic exfoliation of few-layer graphene

Tyurnina, Anastasia V.; Morton, Justin A.; Subroto, Tungky; Khavari, Mohammad; Maciejewska, Barbara; Mi, Jiawei; Grobert, Nicole; Porfyrakis, Kyriakos; Tzanakis, Iakovos; Eskin, Dmitry G.


Anastasia V. Tyurnina

Justin A. Morton

Tungky Subroto

Mohammad Khavari

Barbara Maciejewska

Nicole Grobert

Kyriakos Porfyrakis

Iakovos Tzanakis

Dmitry G. Eskin


Ultrasound-aided liquid phase exfoliation (ULPE) of graphene in pure water is environment-friendly. Two limiting factors of ULPE are the non-uniform thickness of few-layer graphene (FLG) and a relatively low graphene yield. Here we describe ULPE in water that enables us to produce FLG flakes with a thickness of 3 layers and the flake sizes exceeding 1 μm2 in just 2 h. This process is based on using a combination of two ultrasound sources of high and low frequencies: 1174 kHz and 20 kHz. Two different frequencies generate a wider population and size distribution of cavitation bubbles that act through a number of mechanisms towards the exfoliation of graphene. For the first time ULPE was characterized by acoustic measurements. Results show that a high graphene yield (10%) can be achieved. This study demonstrates that the use of a dual frequency ultrasonic source and control of acoustic pressure is critical in optimizing the quality and yield of the cavitation assisted LPE of graphene in pure water. It is suggested that the width of the acoustic pressure peak reflecting shock-wave emissions can be used as an indicator of ULPE completeness, opening for the first time a way of in-situ monitoring of the process.


Tyurnina, A. V., Morton, J. A., Subroto, T., Khavari, M., Maciejewska, B., Mi, J., …Eskin, D. G. (2021). Environment friendly dual-frequency ultrasonic exfoliation of few-layer graphene. Carbon, 185, 536-545.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 15, 2021
Online Publication Date Sep 22, 2021
Publication Date Nov 15, 2021
Deposit Date Oct 9, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Carbon
Print ISSN 0008-6223
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 185
Pages 536-545
Keywords Graphene; Acoustic pressure; Ultrasonic exfoliation; Shock wave emission
Public URL
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Copyright Statement
©2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

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