Graphene oxide (GO) nanocolloids-sheets with lateral dimension smaller than 100 nm-were synthesized by chemical exfoliation of graphite nanofibers, in which the graphene planes are coin-stacked along the length of the nanofibers. Since the upper size limit is predetermined by the diameter of the nanofiber precursor, the size distribution of the GO nanosheets is much more uniform than that of common GO synthesized from graphite powders. The size can be further tuned by the oxidation time. Compared to the micrometer-sized, regular GO sheets, nano GO has very similar spectroscopic characteristics and chemical properties but very different solution properties, such as surface activity and colloidal stability. Due to higher charge density originating from their higher edge-to-area ratios, aqueous GO nanocolloids are significantly more stable. Dispersions of GO nanocolloids can sustain high-speed centrifugation and remain stable even after chemical reduction, which would result in aggregates for regular GO. Therefore, nano GO can act as a better dispersing agent for insoluble materials (e.g., carbon nanotubes) in water, creating a more stable colloidal dispersion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry