Multifunctional coatings of exfoliated and reassembled graphite on cellulosic substrates†
Exfoliated and reassembled graphite (ERG) forms macroscopic, high aspect ratio (1 : >106) and highly conductive coating layers that are strongly adherent to paper, wood, cloth, ceramic and other substrates. The coating precursor is an aqueous dispersion of graphite that exfoliates spontaneously in alkaline cellulose solutions, forming stable dispersions. These can be applied to the substrates by using different painting, coating and lithography techniques. The coating morphology changes from highly smooth to porous and rough, depending on the finishing procedure used. Coated paper sheets are flexible and they perform as leads in electrical circuitry and as electrodes in electrodeposition, supercapacitors, hygroelectricity cells and other electrochemical devices suitable for flexible and wearable electronics. These unique properties of ERG are explained as a consequence of the amphiphilic character of cellulose, which allows it to play the roles of exfoliant, dispersant, stabilizer, adhesive and plasticizer, while graphite powder is transformed into a cohesive laminated nanocomposite.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Chemistry of 2-dimensional materials: beyond graphene