Growth of Graphene from Food, Insects, and Waste

In its monolayer form, graphene is a one-atom-thick two-dimensional material with excellent electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. Large-scale production of high-quality graphene is attracting an increasing amount of attention. Chemical vapor and solid deposition methods have been developed to grow graphene from organic gases or solid carbon sources. Most of the carbon sources used were purified chemicals that could be expensive for mass production. In this work, we have developed a less expensive approach using six easily obtained, low or negatively valued raw carbon-containing materials used without prepurification (cookies, chocolate, grass, plastics, roaches, and dog feces) to grow graphene directly on the backside of a Cu foil at 1050 °C under H2/Ar flow. The nonvolatile pyrolyzed species were easily removed by etching away the frontside of the Cu. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy indicates that the monolayer graphene derived from these carbon sources is of high quality.