When graphene meets ionic liquids: a good match for the design of functional materials
Graphene is an attractive material that is characterized by its exceptional properties (i.e. electrical, mechanical, thermal, optical, etc.), which have pushed researchers to attach high interest to its production and functionalization processes to meet applications in different fields (electronics, electromagnetics, composites, sensors, energy storage, etc.). The synthesis (bottom-up) of graphene remains long and laborious, at the same time expensive, and it is limited to the development of this material in low yield. Hence, the use of graphite as a starting material (top-down through exfoliation or oxidation) seems a promising and easy technique for producing a large quantity of graphene or graphene oxide (GO). On the one hand, GO has been extensively studied due to its ease of synthesis, processing and chemical post-functionalization. One the other hand, “pristine” graphene sheets, obtained through exfoliation, are limited in processability but present enhanced electronic properties. Both types of materials have been of great interest to design functional nanomaterials. Ionic liquids (ILs) are task-specific solvents that exhibit tunable physico-chemical properties. ILs have many advantages as compared with conventional solvents, such as high thermal and chemical stability, low volatility, excellent conductivity and inherent polarity. In the last decade, ILs have been widely employed for the preparation and stabilization of various nanomaterials. In particular, the combination of ILs and graphene, including GO and pristine graphene sheets, has been of growing interest for the preparation, processing and functionalization of hybrid nanomaterials. Understanding the structure and properties of the graphene/IL interface has been of considerable interest for a large panel of applications ranging from tribology to energy storage.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles