The N-terminally pyrene-conjugated oligopeptide, Py-Phe-Phe-Ala-OMe, (Py=pyrene 1-butyryl acyl) forms transparent, stable, supramolecular fluorescent organogels in various organic solvents. One of these organogels was thoroughly studied using various techniques including transmission electron microscopy (TEM), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, and rheology. Unfunctionalized and non-oxidized graphene was successfully incorporated into this fluorescent organogel in o-dichlorobenzene (ODCB) to form a stable hybrid organogel. Graphene is well dispersed into the gel medium by using non-covalent π-π stacking interactions with the pyrene-conjugated gelator peptide. In the presence of graphene, the minimum gelation concentration (mgc) of the hybrid organogel was lowered significantly. This suggests that there is a favorable interaction between the graphene and the gelator peptide within the hybrid organogel system. This hybrid organogel was characterized using TEM, AFM, FTIR, PL, and rheological studies. The TEM study of graphene-containing hybrid organogel revealed the presence of both graphene sheets and entangled gel nanofibers. The AFM study indicated the presence of 3 to 4 layers in exfoliated graphene in ODCB and the presence of both graphene nanosheets and the network of gel nanofibers in the hybrid gel system. The rheological investigation suggested that the flow of the hybrid organogel had become more resistant towards the applied angular frequency upon the incorporation of graphene into the organogel. The hybrid gel is about seven times more rigid than that of the native gel.
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