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Enhancing the Liquid-Phase Exfoliation of Graphene in Organic Solvents upon Addition of n-Octylbenzene.

Scientific reports (2015-11-18)
Sébastien Haar, Mirella El Gemayel, Yuyoung Shin, Georgian Melinte, Marco A Squillaci, Ovidiu Ersen, Cinzia Casiraghi, Artur Ciesielski, Paolo Samorì
ABSTRACT

Due to a unique combination of electrical and thermal conductivity, mechanical stiffness, strength and elasticity, graphene became a rising star on the horizon of materials science. This two-dimensional material has found applications in many areas of science ranging from electronics to composites. Making use of different approaches, unfunctionalized and non-oxidized graphene sheets can be produced; among them an inexpensive and scalable method based on liquid-phase exfoliation of graphite (LPE) holds potential for applications in opto-electronics and nanocomposites. Here we have used n-octylbenzene molecules as graphene dispersion-stabilizing agents during the graphite LPE process. We have demonstrated that by tuning the ratio between organic solvents such as N-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone or ortho-dichlorobenzene, and n-octylbenzene molecules, the concentration of exfoliated graphene can be enhanced by 230% as a result of the high affinity of the latter molecules for the basal plane of graphene. The LPE processed graphene dispersions were further deposited onto solid substrates by exploiting a new deposition technique called spin-controlled drop casting, which was shown to produce uniform highly conductive and transparent graphene films.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
1,2-Dichlorobenzene, anhydrous, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Graphite, flakes
Sigma-Aldrich
1,2-Dichlorobenzene, suitable for HPLC, 99%