Preparation of graphene oxide liquid crystals with long-range highly-ordered flakes using a coat-hanger die†
Graphene oxide (GO) was discovered as a liquid crystalline (LC) phase formation in its water dispersion and expanded to a large number of applications, such as highly ordered GO sheets papers, films, and foams. However, there are still few efficient ways to prepare graphene oxide liquid crystals (GOLCs) with long-range highly ordered flakes. In this work, after carefully studying the rheological properties of GO aqueous dispersions at different concentrations, we have provided a new method to prepare holistically-oriented GOLCs through a designed coat-hanger die. Further, by simulating the extrusion process in the slot of the coat-hanger die, the die's dimensional sizes were optimized to apply efficient shear force on GO dispersions. Then, GOLCs with long-range highly ordered flakes of different GO concentrations were prepared using this method. Finally, a GO foam with a highly ordered structure was prepared using a layer-by-layer method, which exhibited improved conductivity compared to that of normal disordered GO foams after chemical reduction.