In a dare, Professor James Tour of Rice University produced graphene from a Girl Scout cookie. “I said we could grow it from any carbon source -- for example, a Girl Scout cookie, because Girl Scout Cookies were being served at the time. So one of the people in the room said, 'Yes, please do it. ... Let's see that happen,'" Tour recounted.
Having recently creating graphene from table sugar, doing the same with cookies was going to be easy for Tour. In the experiment he tested the ability to create the single atom thick material from a slew of different substances besides cookies, such as chocolate, grass, polystyrene plastic, insects (a cockroach leg) and even dog *** (from his lab assistant’s dog ‘Sid Vicious’).
In all materials the team was able to create “high-quality” graphene deposition on copper foil. In a furnace flowing argon and hydrogen gas at 1,050°C, graphene formed on one side of the foil as a carbon source decomposed on the other side. The carbon sources being all the materials afore mentioned including the Girl Scout cookies.
Going alone with the dare to create graphene cookies, Girl Scout Troop 25080 were invited to watch the process at Rice’s Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology. At the demonstration Rice graduate student and author of the paper on the experiment Gedeng Ruan calculated the amount of graphene than can be created from a box of Girl Scout cookies at today’s commercial price. At $125 USD per square inch, the box’s graphene can cover 30 football fields and is worth $15 billion USD. “That’s a lot of cash!” said Girl Scout troop member Sydney Shanahan. I agree.
The next big challenge Tour and his team will take on is creating graphene based transparent electrodes by way of an aluminum mesh. This is to replace the indium tin oxide in flat and touch screens displays, LEDs and solar cells. Tour stated the price of graphene will drop as methods to mass produce it for consumer production increases. This may ultimately be the first commercial use of graphene.
I’m off to continue eating a $15 billion dollar box of Do-Si-Dos.