Novel one-pot green synthesis of graphene in aqueous medium under microwave irradiation using a regenerative catalyst and the study of its electrochemical properties†
In this work we report an economic, eco-friendly, high yielding and facile one-pot method for the large scale synthesis of few layer graphene (FLG) nanosheets directly from graphite in aqueous medium using a regenerative catalyst, sodium tungstate. This method is fast and makes use of environmental friendly chemicals and microwave radiation. The as-synthesized FLG nanosheets are characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area analysis. Raman analysis indicates that the as-synthesized graphene is bilayered with a smaller domain size of 3.9 nm which is responsible for a higher specific surface area of FLG nanosheets (1103.62 m2 g−1). Moreover, XPS analysis of FLG nanosheets shows a high C : O ratio (∼9.6) which is the best among the graphene prepared from green chemicals. The electrochemical performance of as-synthesized FLG nanosheets is analysed by cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronopotentiometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in neat 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (EMIMBF4) electrolyte. The superior capacitive performance with large capacitance (219 F g−1), high energy density (83.56 W h kg−1) and excellent cyclability (3000 cycles) exhibited by these graphene nanosheets make them an excellent candidate for supercapacitor material.