Graphene oxide is a commercially important material that has been explored for use in several industries. A paper published in Royal Society Open Science has investigated the effects of long-term aging on this material.
Study: Effect of long-term ageing on graphene oxide: structure and thermal decomposition. Image Credit: Daniel Ramirez-Gonzalez/Shutterstock.com
Graphene Oxide: Overview, Uses, and Challenges
Graphene oxide is a thermally unstable, high-energy material. The material is a derivative of graphene, possessing a six-carbon ring structure. Active groups attached to the structure facilitate interaction with other substances. Even under mild heating conditions, it can react disproportionately. Even at room temperature it can react and begins to decompose at around 50 oC.
(a) XRD, (b) FTIR and (c) Raman curves of graphene oxide prepared after 5 days (GO; black) and graphene oxide aged for 2 years (GO-a; red). Image Credit: Li. C et al., Royal Society Open Science
One of the main proposed uses of graphene oxide is the preparation of energetic materials and energetic composites, which are commonly used in pyrotechnics and ammunition which can be stored for extended periods of time. The large specific surface area of graphene oxide facilitates its combination with other functional materials to manufacture composites, along with the presence of active groups such as hydroxyls and carboxyls.
There have been numerous studies in recent years on manufacturing energetic materials and composite energetic materials using graphene oxide. However, the material’s thermal instability along with the tendency of graphene oxide to absorb moisture due to its large specific surface area presents challenges. Graphene oxide’s properties may change over time, presenting further challenges for the long-term storage of energetic materials and their performance.
AFM images of graphene oxide prepared after 5 days (GO) and graphene oxide aged for 2 years (GO-a). The topography of graphene oxide: (a) GO and (c) GO-a. Interlayer spacing of graphene oxide: (b) GO and (d) GO-a. Image Credit: Li. C et al., Royal Society Open Science
Studying the Influence of Ageing on Graphene Oxide
For this reason, recent studies have sought to elucidate information on the influence of aging on graphene oxide’s thermal decomposition and structural properties. One study by Iakunkov et al. has examined graphene oxide’s swelling properties after aging in media such as water, air, and industrial alcohols. Yin et al. reported aging slightly reduce the initial temperature of decomposition, but the decomposition enthalpy is not significantly affected.
Zhou & Bongiorno investigated the effects of aging on the graphene oxide-based material’s dynamic, chemical, and structural stability. Whilst these studies have examined various effects of aging, the authors of the study published on The Royal Society’s website have stated that there are no reports on the long-term aging effects on graphene oxide’s thermal decomposition and structure.
Whilst long-term aging is a tedious process, the method can provide pertinent information that more accurately reflects the real-world use of graphene oxide. The study published on The Royal Society’s website has concentrated on …….