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Serendipity broadens the scope for making graphite

Curtin University researchers have unexpectedly discovered a new way to make crystalline graphite, an essential material used in the making of lithium ion batteries.

 Described in a research paper published today in Nature’s Communications Materials, the new technique does not require the typical metal catalysts or special raw materials to turn carbon into crystalline graphite. Interestingly it was instead discovered by a research student in a lab, using an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS) – a piece of equipment, invented in Australia in the 1950s and developed to analyse the composition of liquids.

 The Master-level student behind the discovery, Mr Jason Fogg, said that while the exact science behind why this new technique works is still to be confirmed, he believes it relates to the specific way the AAS heats the samples through short fast pulses.

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