Graphene sheets are immensely strong, lightweight and excellent at conducting electricity. Theoretically, macroscopical three-dimensional graphene assemblies should retain the properties of nanoscale graphene flakes. However, recent attempts to make 3D graphene have resulted in weak conductivity due to poor contact between graphene sheets. Loss of strength is also a problem, and self-supporting 3D graphene has not yet been produced.
Now, Xuebin Wang and Yoshio Bando at Japan's World Premier International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (WPI-MANA), together with co-workers across Japan and China, have created a new way of making 3D graphene using bubbles blown in a polymeric glucose solution. The resulting 3D graphene is robust and maintains excellent conductivity.