Research Article


2015, 8(3): 801–807


Lithium-assisted exfoliation of pristine graphite for fewlayer graphene nanosheets

Minwei Xu1,2, Huiting Sun1, Cai Shen3, Sen Yang1, Wenxiu Que2, Yin Zhang4 (*), and Xiaoping Song1 (*)

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1 MOE Key Laboratory for Nonequilibrium Synthesis and Modulation of Condensed Matter, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, 710049, China
2 Electronic Materials Research Laboratory, International Center for Dielectric Research, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
3 Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo, 315201, China
4 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, 201804, China

Keywords: graphene, few-layer, lithium Intercalation, exfoliation
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A lithium-assisted approach has been developed for the exfoliation of pristine graphite, which allows the large-scale preparation of few-layer graphene nanosheets. The process involves an unexpected physical insertion and exfoliation, and the graphene nanosheets prepared by this method reveal undisturbed sp2-hybridized structures. A possible two-step mechanism, which involves the negative charge being trapped around the edges of the graphite layers and a subsequent lithiation process, is proposed to explain the insertion of lithium inside the graphite interlayers. If necessary, the present exfoliation can be repeated and thinner (single or 2–3 layer) graphene can be achieved on a large scale. This simple process provides an efficient process for the exfoliation of pristine graphite, which might promote the future applications of graphene.
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Lithium-assisted exfoliation of pristine graphite for fewlayer graphene nanosheets. Nano Res. 2015, 8(3): 801–807

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