Made To Measure… Graphite

From time to time on this blog we will provide critical abstracts of key publications we think worthy of special attention because of their significant contribution to the Made-to-Measure Materials agenda. This is the first of these critical abstracts.
H. B. Plumbum and B. I. S. Söfta, From 2D to 3D: New Applications for Graphene, Grapho 1 (4), 1414 (2016).
The authors report that although there has been significant advances in 2D materials the lack of commercial applications is disappointing. To address this problem they report a new way of enabling graphene layers to self-assemble into a 3D crystal lattice. They fully characterise this crystalline material by X-ray diffraction. The material has a hexagonal structure that preserves the geometry of graphene; the lattice constant a relates directly to the hexagonal lattice of graphene. The lattice constant c arises from stacking graphene layers sequentially ABABA, etc.
In modelling the stability of this material with ap initio calculations they show that this 3D form of carbon is thermodynamically stable. The density is attractive for aerospace applications being a little over 2 g cm-3. Its physical properties are however disappointing with poor strength and a propensity to cleave. The authors provisionally name the material plumbago.
This paper make a seminal contribution to the state-of-the-ark and it is a relief to find a paper that makes a solid contribution to science rather than reinventing the pencil.