Researchers at Sungkyunkwan University in the Republic of Korea haveused the surfactant binol in aqueous sodium salt form to generate a stable dispersion of graphene in water. Removal of the salt after the preparation via exfoliation/in-situ reduction of graphene oxide does not lead to any observable changes in the properties of the resultinggraphene sheets.
This is an important step forward in graphene chemistry given that the material usually forms agglomerates in solvents and its hydrophobic nature means it is not usually amenable to manipulation in aqueous systems. The same approach allowed the team to easily prepare large-scale dispersions of graphene sheets in water as well as other solvents, which will facilitate the further processing of graphene into functionalized materials and components.
- Binol Salt as a Completely Removable Graphene Surfactant,
Surajit Some, Youngmin Kim, EunHee Hwang, HeeJoun Yoo and Hyoyoung Lee
Chem. Commun. 2012.