Laser fabrication of porous, 3D graphene-like carbon from polyimide and sustainable bioplastics

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Larrigy, Cathal
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University College Cork
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Laser-induced graphitization (LIG) of materials provides a unique and advantageous method for fabrication of 3D, porous, conductive, carbon structures with high surface area. By using laser-irradiation of target substrates, conductive patterns such as electrochemical or chemiresistive sensing elements can be fabricated additively, thus reducing both the energy footprint and cost. However, typically LIG is fabricated on non-sustainable feedstock substrates, most commonly polyimide. Studies toward using alternative and more sustainable substrates have been researched, and in this thesis one such alternative is explored, chitosan-based laser-induced graphene. This thesis aims to show the possibilities of laser-induced graphene fabrication, in examining first the fabrication of LIG on polyimide using a low-cost hobbyist 405 nm laser engraving machine, as an alternative low energy intensive fabrication method. Following this the possibility of using a more sustainable substrate as a target precursor for laser-induced graphitization in the form of a chitosan-based LIG. Finally, a potential application using chitosan-based LIG was demonstrated in the form of chemi-resistive 2-terminal impedance devices for sensing humidity and volatile organic compounds.
Laser-induced graphitization , Chitosan , Porous 3D graphene , Sustainable bioplastics , Electrochemical sensing , Volatile organic compound sensing
Larrigy, C. 2022. Laser fabrication of porous, 3D graphene-like carbon from polyimide and sustainable bioplastics. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.