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Influence of surfactants of different nature and chain length on the morphology, thermal stability and sheet resistance of graphene

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Abstract

The effects of surfactants of different nature (anionic, cationic and non-ionic) and chain length on the morphology, microstructure, thermal stability and electrical resistivity of liquid exfoliated graphene (G) were investigated. Microscopic (SEM and AFM) observations revealed that the thickness of G in the dispersions depended on the surfactant nature: non-ionic surfactants rendered the highest level of exfoliation, whilst dispersions in the cationic ones exhibited fully-covered thicker sheets; the flake thickness increased with increasing surfactant chain length. X-ray diffraction studies indicated an increased interlamellar G spacing with increasing surfactant content. Raman spectra showed an increase in the ID/IG ratio with decreasing G loading. Larger upshifts of the G, 2D and D + G bands were found with increasing surfactant concentration, particularly for dispersions in the cationic surfactants. For the same G/surfactant weight ratio, the electrical resistivity of the dispersions followed the order: cationic > non-ionic > anionic, consistent with the amount of surfactant adsorbed onto G calculated via TGA. It is demonstrated herein that the thermal and electrical properties of liquid exfoliated G can be tuned by varying the surfactant concentration, nature and chain length, which is of great importance for numerous applications like solar power harvesting, high-temperature devices and flexible nanoelectronics.

Graphical abstract: Influence of surfactants of different nature and chain length on the morphology, thermal stability and sheet resistance of graphene

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 May 2018, accepted on 23 Jun 2018 and first published on 25 Jun 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01017J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
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    Influence of surfactants of different nature and chain length on the morphology, thermal stability and sheet resistance of graphene

    A. M. Díez-Pascual, C. Vallés, R. Mateos, S. Vera-López, I. A. Kinloch and M. P. S. Andrés, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01017J

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