Researchers studying graphene’s physical properties over time have discovered the material’s tendency to increase corrosion in copper may actually be preventing corrosion. The team’s findings could have applications in extending the usable life of copper, which is a component found in numerous electronic devices prone to oxidation over time.
Other studies have shown that copper corrodes faster when in proximity to graphene. By studying the surface of copper using Raman spectroscopy, the Chang-Ang University researchers discovered the copper actually forms a hybrid layer with the graphene as it corrodes, which, over time, works as a protective barrier preventing further corrosion.
The previously understood research about graphene’s corrosive properties has been controversial in the scientific community, Prof. Hyungbin Son told QS Wow News, which highlights the importance of the team’s discovery. “We have shown for the first time that the graphene-Cu2O hybrid structure, which forms over a long period, significantly slows down the oxidation of copper in the long term, as compared to bare copper,” Son said.
The researchers plan to explore further potential for graphene’s anti-corrosive properties, and hope this paves the way to graphene as a solution to aging copper.