Researchers from Lawrence Livermore have developed a new method to mass produce graphene based materials. The idea is to use polymer-derived carbon foams and selectively removing carbon atoms from a network composed of both unstructured carbon and graphite nanoplatelets. This creates a materials whose physical properties can be dynamically changed by an external signal.

The researchers says that the new technique is inexpensive, scalable, and yields mechanically robust, centimeter-sized monolithic samples that are composed almost entirely of interconnected networks of single-layer graphene nanoplatelets. The materials have an ultra-high surface area and may thus be used for energy storage systems. They can also be used as an electrically conductive network to support the active material in battery applications or be used for capacitive desalination.