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Colloidal Stability of Graphene Oxide: Aggregation in Two Dimensions

Published inLangmuir, vol. 32, no. 20, p. 5058-5068
Publication date2016
Abstract

Colloidal stability of graphene oxide (GO) is studied in aqueous and organic media accompanied by an improved aggregation model based on Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory for ultrathin colloidal flakes. It is found that both magnitude and scaling laws for the van der Waals forces are affected significantly by the two-dimensional (2D) nature of GO. Experimental critical coagulation concentrations (CCC) of GO in monovalent salt solutions concur with DLVO theory prediction. The surface charge density of GO is largely affected by pH. However, theoretical calculations and experimental observations show that the colloidal stability of the 2D colloids is less sensitive to the changes in the surface charge density compared to the classical picture of 3D colloids. The DLVO theory also quantitatively predicts the colloidal stability of reduced GO (rGO). The origin of lower stability of rGO compared to GO is rooted in the higher van der Waals forces among rGO sheets, and particularly, in the removal of negatively charged groups, and possibly formation of some cationic groups during reduction. GO also exfoliates in the polar organic solvents and results in stable dispersions. However, addition of nonpolar solvents perturbs the colloidal stability at a critical volume fraction. Analyzing the aggregation of GO in mixtures of different nonpolar solvents and Nmethyl-2-pyrrolidone proposed that the solvents with dielectric constants of less than 24 are not able to host stable colloids of GO. However, dispersions of GO in very polar solvents shows unexpected stability at high concentration (>1 M) of salts and acids. The origin of this stability is most probably solvation forces. A crucial parameter affecting the ability of polar solvents to impart high stability to GO is their molecular size: the bigger they are, the higher the chance for stabilization.

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MOAZZAMI GUDARZI, Mohsen. Colloidal Stability of Graphene Oxide: Aggregation in Two Dimensions. In: Langmuir, 2016, vol. 32, n° 20, p. 5058–5068. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b01012
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