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High-yield aqueous phase exfoliation of graphene for facile nanocomposite synthesis via emulsion polymerization

, : High-yield aqueous phase exfoliation of graphene for facile nanocomposite synthesis via emulsion polymerization. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 410: 43-51

Aqueous phase exfoliation was developed for producing high-yield graphene nanosheets from expanded graphite (EG). The process included ultrasonication with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) emulsion in aqueous phase. The high throughput exfoliation process was characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Controlled sonication experiments revealed that optimum exfoliation corresponds to maxima in UV-vis spectra. TEM results showed that the exfoliated graphene comprised nanoflakes having ≤5 layers (~60%) and ≤10 layers for 90% of the product. The potential use of this highly dispersed graphene was demonstrated by one-pot synthesis of graphene/polymer composite via in situ emulsion polymerization with styrene. The integrated role of SDS included adsorption and exfoliation of graphite, dispersion of graphene produced and assisting with micelle formation in emulsion. The high surface area graphene nanosheets as dispersed phase in polymeric nanocomposites showed significant improvement in thermal stability and electrical conductivity.


PMID: 24034217

DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2013.08.006

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