Journal of colloid and interface science

A comparative study on the effects of ultrathin luminescent graphene oxide quantum dot (GOQD) and graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets on the interfacial interactions and mechanical properties of an epoxy composite.

PMID 28088122


The reinforcement effect of graphene oxide nanosheets on the mechanical properties of an epoxy coating has been extensively studied. However, the effect of graphene oxide quantum dot (GOQD) as a new unique carbon based nanomaterial (with lateral dimension of 5-6nm and thickness of one carbon atom) on the mechanical properties of epoxy coating has not been reported and compared with GO yet. So this study aims at fabrication of a high-performance polymer composite with unique mechanical properties using GOQD nanosheets. GO and GOQD were obtained through two different strategies of "top-down" synthesis from an expandable graphite by a modified Hummers' method and an easy "bottom-up" method by carbonizing citric acid, respectively. The morphology, size distribution, microstructure and chemistry of the GO and GOQD were compared by utilizing X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, atomic force microscopy (AFM), high resolution-transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), high resolution field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Results obtained from these analyses confirmed successful synthesize of GOQD and GO nanosheets. The reinforcement effect of GO and GOQD nanosheets on the mechanical properties of the epoxy coating was studied by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) and tensile test. It was found that the GOQD could remarkably enhance the energy of break, Young's modulus, tensile stress and interfacial interactions compared to the neat epoxy and the one reinforced with GO nanosheets. GOQD improved the fracture toughness by factor of 175% and 700% compared to the GO/Epoxy and neat epoxy, respectively.

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D.E.R. 332, used as embedding medium