3D-printed bacteria could make bespoke graphene-like materials | New Scientist

How do you make a bespoke material with graphene-like properties? By putting bacteria to work using a 3D printer. Such bacteria could create brand new materials. For example, if you could use bacteria to print a substance resembling graphene – the 2D material made of single-atom layers of carbon – the end product might have similar desirable properties.

When placed on sheets of graphene oxide, certain bacteria can turn it into a reduced version of the compound, which shares many properties with graphenebut is easier to produce in large amounts. The bacteria do this by pulling oxygen atoms off the material as they metabolise.

Reduced graphene oxide is normally made with the help of powerful chemicals or extreme heat, but the microbe-produced version is much cheaper and more environmentally friendly, says Anne Meyer at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Read more: 3D-printed bacteria could make bespoke graphene-like materials | New Scientist

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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3D-printed bacteria could make bespoke graphene-like materials | New S…

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