Accessibility navigation

Catalysis-free transformation of non-graphitising carbons into highly crystalline graphite

Fogg, J. L., Putman, K. J., Zhang, T., Lei, Y., Terrones, M., Harris, P. J. F. ORCID:, Marks, N. A. and Suarez-Martinez, I. (2020) Catalysis-free transformation of non-graphitising carbons into highly crystalline graphite. Communications Materials, 1 (1). 47. ISSN 2662-4443

Text (Open Access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s43246-020-0045-y


High-purity graphite is a sought-after material for lithium-ion batteries and graphene production. Most organic materials do not graphitise upon heating unless a metal catalyst is present. The catalyst becomes embedded in the graphite and is difficult to remove. Here, we present a catalysis-free technique capable of producing highly crystalline graphite from materials generally considered incapable of this transformation. Using the furnace inside an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, we perform repeated high-temperature pulsing of polyvinylidene chloride followed by analysis with Raman, X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Unexpectedly, ~90% of the sample transforms into highly ordered graphite with very few defects. A combustion route is proposed in which oxygen attacks the structural units that inhibit graphitisation. We apply the same approach to cellulose and obtain ten times more ordered material than conventional furnaces, confirming that polyvinylidene chloride is not an isolated case. Potentially, this method could be used to synthesise graphite from any organic material, including waste sources such as biomass.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF) > Electron Microscopy Laboratory (CAF)
ID Code:91940
Uncontrolled Keywords:Article, /639/301/299, /639/301/119, article


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation