The term “nano” is applied to a new variety of materials that are composed of primary particles with maximum dimensions that are typically below 1 micrometer (µm:10-6m). A “nanometer” (nm) is 1/1000th of a micrometer or 10-9m (one billionth of a meter). Material surface or structural features that are in the range of 1-10nm are approaching “molecular size” and may have properties that are “hybrid” between the microscopic and macroscopic world.
In response to the need for graphite-based nanomaterials we have developed a unique series of free-flowing, dispersed powders composed of nanographite platelets with primary particle sizes below 100nm. Depending on the specific grade these platelets can be as little as 2.5nm thick in the through plane (parallel with the “C” crystallographic axis) direction. The BET surface area of these products varies from less the 200 to over 400m2/gram, depending on the product. The entire line of our nanographite powders are manufactured from fully graphitized parent carbon materials
The formation of graphite nanomaterials from graphitic parent carbon requires the formation of nano-sized graphite lamellae at the expense of larger crystalline structures. As finer particles are produced, the resultant microstructure, although still platy or flaky in nature, begins to loose the material properties consistent with long range crystalline order. As the structure and properties diverge from the fully crystalline state, they begin to converge on a “hybrid” material that has both crystalline and amorphous character. During this transformation the chemical and physical nature of the edges of graphite lamellae begin to overwhelm the resonance stabilized environment typically associated with the interior regions of laminar graphite materials. This convergence is expressed through a number of measureable properties including optical properties, electrical properties, density, compressibility, and chemical reactivity.