Researchers at the University of Rochester (New York) have found a simple, relatively cheap and very environmentally friendly way to obtain graphene using the bacteria Shewanella oneidensis. When mixed with oxidized graphite, they remove most of the oxygen groups from the substance, leaving conductive graphene.
Thanks to this process, graphene can be created at the scale required for the mass production of next-generation electronic devices and materials.
Using the new method, study author Anne Meyer and her colleagues were able to obtain thinner, more stable and durable graphene compared to its chemical analogue.
"Bacterial" graphene can find application in field-effect transistor (FET) biosensors, devices for detecting certain biological molecules, for example, for monitoring glucose levels in diabetics.
This type of graphene can also be used as a conductive ink on printed circuit boards, in computer keyboards, and even in heating wires for car windows.