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Scientific reports

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


PMID 26573383

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.

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