Modification of kitchen blenders into controllable laboratory mixers for mechanochemical synthesis of atomically thin materials

06 July 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Graphene and related two-dimensional materials (2DMs) have shown promise across numerous technology areas including flexible electronics, energy storage and pollution remediation. Research into novel applications of these atomically thin materials relies on access to synthesis techniques for producing 2DMs with suitable quality and quantity. Liquid-phase exfoliation is a mechanochemical approach that can achieve this and produce defect-free nanomaterial dispersions which are compatible for downstream use (e.g. inkjet printing, coatings). Here, using kitchen blenders to deliver shear-driven exfoliation, we develop a range of inexpensive hardware solutions that can allow researchers to synthesise 2DMs using a controllable, sustainable and scalable process. Extensive modifications were necessary as the onboard electronics lack the experimental controls (temperature, speed, characterisation) for scientific research and precision synthesis. The technical aspects (including the many lessons learned) of the modifications are discussed and a simple selection process is proposed for creating bespoke mechanochemical processors for any application in the hope that this encourages experimentation. Specific builds with detailed notes, cost breakdown and associated files are provided in the Open Science Framework (OSF) repository, OpenLPE associated with this article.


2D materials

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