Smoothing out Wrinkles in Graphene with Wax

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a way to use wax to transfer graphene, which tends to wrinkle and break when removed from the substrate it is grown on, to a new substrate. Traditionally, graphene is encased in a polymer to protect it when moving between substrates; however, this creates defects and introduces contaminants. The newly developed process of applying wax to the surface of graphene has been shown to protect the graphene from breakage up to four times better than traditional polymer encasing methods. The wax is heated once it is applied to the surface causing it to expand across the entire surface and smooth out wrinkles. The wax can be washed away from the graphene without leaving much residue. The researchers are continuing their work to scale up the system to larger sheets of graphene as well as applying their technique to the fabrication processes of other 2-D materials.