Graphene is theoretically a robust two-dimensional (2D) sp 2-hybridized carbon material with high electrical conductivity and optical transparency. However, due to the existence of grain boundaries and defects, experimentally synthesized large-Area polycrystalline graphene sheets are easily broken and can exhibit high sheet resistances; thus, they are not suitable as flexible transparent conductors. As described in this issue of ACS Nano, Tour et al. circumvented this problem by proposing and synthesizing a novel hybrid structure that they have named "rebar graphene", which is composed of covalently interconnected carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with graphene sheets. In this particular configuration, CNTs act as "reinforcing bars" that not only improve the mechanical strength of polycrystalline graphene sheets but also bridge different crystalline domains so as to enhance the electrical conductivity. This report seems to be only the tip of the iceberg since it is also possible to construct novel and unprecedented hybrid carbon architectures by establishing covalent interconnections between CNTs with graphene, thus yielding graphene-CNT hybrids, three-dimensional (3D) covalent CNT networks, 3D graphene networks, etc. In this Perspective, we review the progress of these carbon hybrid systems and describe the challenges that need to be overcome in the near future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)