Malleable and bounces back | Revista Pesquisa FAPESP

When associated with other molecules, the sheets of carbon atoms that give form to graphene can attain properties that are even more surprising. A team of researchers at Rice University, in collaboration with physicists at the University of Campinas (Unicamp), has developed a type of sponge that is extremely light, tough, and malleable, through a chemical reaction that bonds graphene oxide (GO), a variant of graphene, to the hexagonal form of boron nitride (BN), a synthetic compound used as a lubricant and additive in cosmetics. When small samples of this sponge were compressed with one or two pennies, they easily bounced back to their original shape. The nanometric structure of the new material, called GO-0.5BN, is similar to the framework of a building under construction, with floors and walls that self-assemble from a base of graphene oxide sheets reinforced with boron nitride platelets. GO-0.5BN is 400 times less dense than graphite. Composed solely of boron and nitrogen atoms,

Source: Malleable and bounces back | Revista Pesquisa FAPESP