Microfluidics-enabled orientation and microstructure control of macroscopic graphene fibres

Guoqing Xin, Weiguang Zhu, Yanxiang Deng, Jie Cheng, Lucy T. Zhang, Aram J. Chung, Suvranu De, Jie Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Citations (Scopus)


Macroscopic graphene structures such as graphene papers and fibres can be manufactured from individual two-dimensional graphene oxide sheets by a fluidics-enabled assembling process. However, achieving high thermal-mechanical and electrical properties is still challenging due to non-optimized microstructures and morphology. Here, we report graphene structures with tunable graphene sheet alignment and orientation, obtained via microfluidic design, enabling strong size and geometry confinements and control over flow patterns. Thin flat channels can be used to fabricate macroscopic graphene structures with perfectly stacked sheets that exhibit superior thermal and electrical conductivities and improved mechanical strength. We attribute the observed shape and size confinements to the flat distribution of shear stress from the anisotropic microchannel walls and the enhanced shear thinning degree of large graphene oxide sheets in solution. Elongational and step expansion flows are created to produce large-scale graphene tubes and rods with horizontally and perpendicularly aligned graphene sheets by tuning the elongational and extensional shear rates, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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