Laser-Induced Graphene Capacitive Killing of Bacteria

Camilah D. Powell, Lakshmi Pisharody, Jürgen Jopp, Revital Sharon-Gojman, Brhane A. Tesfahunegn, Christopher J. Arnusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Laser-induced graphene (LIG) is a method of generating a foam-like conformal carbon layer of porous graphene on many types of carbon-based surfaces. This electrically conductive material has been shown to be useful in many applications including environmental technology and includes low fouling and antimicrobial surfaces and can address persistent environmental challenges spawned by bacterial and viral contaminates. Here, we show that a single film of LIG stores charge when an electrical current is applied and dissipates charge when the current is stopped, which results in electricidal surface antibacterial potency. The amount of accumulated and dissipated charge on a single strip of LIG was quantified with an electrometer by generating LIG on both sides of a nonconducting polyimide film, which showed up to 65 pC of charge when the distance between the surfaces was 94 μm corresponding to an areal capacitance of 1.63 pF/cm2. We further corroborate the stored charge decay of a single LIG strip with bacteria death via direct electrical contact. Antimicrobial rates decreased with the same monotonic pattern as the loss of charge from the LIG film (i.e., AR ∼ 97% 0 s after voltage source disconnection vs AR ∼ 21% 90 s after disconnection) showing bacterial death as a function of delayed LIG exposure time after applied voltage disconnection. In terms of energy efficiency, this translates to an increased bacteria potency of ∼170% for the equivalent energy costs as that previously estimated. Finally, we present a mechanistic explanation for the capacitive behavior and the electricidal effects for a single plate of LIG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-890
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2023


  • LIG
  • antibacterial
  • bacterial killing mechanism
  • capacitive
  • charge storage
  • laser-induced graphene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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