How to differentiate Graphene

Explaining how Graphene is produced

Graphene was isolated by the scotch-tape method for the first time in the world in 2004. This method proved that graphene was not only a theory, but a reality.

The scotch-tape method is absolutely not transferable for an industrial production of graphene. But it was a stepping-stone, and several different production processes emerged since the first isolation of graphene.

Two different strategies can be applied:

1-Bottom Up:

Graphene produced from gases by Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD)

2-Top Down:

Graphene produced from graphite by exfoliation (chemical, mechanical, oxidative)

These different production processes give various graphene forms.


We can segment the graphene family in 2 ways:

Thickness of the material
Purity of graphene

Thickness of the material

Graphene is limited to 10 layers, so less than 3nm thick. Nowadays, very few companies are able to produce such a graphene.

  • SLG: Single Layer Graphene (1 Layer)
  • FLG: Few Layer Graphene (2-5 Layers)
  • MLG: MultiLayer Graphene (<10 Layers)
  • GNP: Graphite NanoPlates (<250 Layers)
Type of graphene

For such a 2D material, thickness is a critical parameter. The thinnest the material, the better the properties will be!

Purity of Graphene

Functional groups, even in low quantity, decrease the performance as anticorrosion agent or thermal and electrical conductor.

The degree of functionalization and the level of defects, depend strongly on the method of production!


Graphene purity decrease

Comparing Graphene

When choosing graphene, you should be careful of the quality and scalability of the graphene. It all depends on the application and how you want to use graphene.

ProcessesThickness% PurityScalability
CVD1 Layer> 99.99%
Chemical exfoliation*2-8 Layers> 99.95%++
Mechanical exfoliation2-249 Layers> 99%++
rGO1-249 Layers95% < rGO < 99%++
GO2-249 Layers< 80%++
*Chemical exfoliation is patented and industrialized only by Carbon Waters
Chemical Exfoliation production process

Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation is a top-down approach to obtain graphene in dispersion from graphite. This method is currently mastered by Carbon…
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Mechanical exfoliation graphene production process

Mechanical Exfoliation

The mechanical exfoliation method was first described in 2008 in order to answer the needs for a scalable production method…
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Oxidative exfoliation graphene production process

Oxidative Exfoliation

For the oxidative exfoliation method, graphite is commonly oxidized under harsh conditions to obtain graphite oxide. This bulk material can…
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