Graphene materials and structures have become an essential part of modern electronics and photovoltaics. However, despite many production methods, applications of graphene-based structures are hindered by high costs, lack of scalability and limitations in spatial patterning. Here we fabricate three-dimensional functional solid microstructures of reduced graphene oxide in a lyotropic nematic liquid crystal of graphene oxide flakes using a pulsed near-infrared laser. This reliable, scalable approach is mask-free, does not require special chemical reduction agents, and can be implemented at ambient conditions starting from aqueous graphene oxide flakes. Orientational ordering of graphene oxide flakes in self-assembled liquid-crystalline phases enables laser patterning of complex, three-dimensional reduced graphene oxide structures and colloidal particles, such as trefoil knots, with 'frozen' orientational order of flakes. These structures and particles are mechanically rigid and range from hundreds of nanometres to millimetres in size, as needed for applications in colloids, electronics, photonics and display technology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)