Optical scattering from graphene foam for oil imaging/sensing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sunan Deng
  • Piran R. Kidambi
  • Manzar Sohail
  • Safyan A. Khan

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals


Oil spill detection is crucial, from an environmental perspective and in view of the associated economic losses. Current optical oil sensing techniques, such as underwater microscopy and light scattering methods, mainly focus on detecting the properties of particles or organisms in water and often require costly equipment and sophisticated data processing. Recent studies on graphitic foam show its extraordinary pollutant absorbing properties, with high absorption weight ratios. Here we propose to produce a graphene foam based ultra-light material that changes its optical properties on absorbing oil species. The results demonstrate clear changes in optical transmission and scattering properties of graphene foam when exposed to various oils. The effective graphene foam sorbent can be easily integrated with optical fiber systems to detect the optical property variations and also to monitor oil presence/spillages remotely. Such sensors can also be used for underground oil exploration.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71867-71874
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number76
Early online date28 Jul 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jul 2016


  • Graphene foam, oil sensor , diffraction, optical scattering