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Issue 36, 2011
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Poly(vinyl alcohol) nanocomposites based on graphene and graphite oxide: a comparative investigation of property and mechanism

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Abstract

Polymer/graphene nanocomposites have generated intensive interest due to their unique properties. Dispersion and interface interactions between graphene and the polymer matrix are two key factors to obtain property enhancements. According to the open literature, in poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) nanocomposites, graphene usually obtains more significant property enhancements than graphite oxide (GO), although GO can much more easily form a good dispersion and strong interaction in the PVA matrix because of its oxygenated functionalities, and the reason has not been well documented yet. In this work, graphene and GO were successfully incorporated into PVA; the properties and the mechanism for the property enhancements were investigated. GO formed better dispersion and exfoliation while graphene caused more property enhancements including mechanical properties, electrical conductivity and thermal stability. The mechanical strength of the graphene/GO nano-layers is attributed to be the fundamental cause for the enhancements in crystallinity and mechanical properties; the hydrogen bond among the PVA molecules is the key factor to influence the glass transition temperatures; the hydrogen bond between the graphene/GO nano-layers and PVA matrix is the decisive factor for the exfoliation and dispersion of graphene/GO; the conducting network is the explanation for the increased electrical conductivity; the physical barrier effect of graphene nano-sheets is the main cause for improved thermal stability. This work investigates the mechanisms for property enhancements, clarifies the roles of the hydrogen bond and the mechanical strength of the graphene/GO nano-layers, and explains why graphene usually achieves more property enhancements than GO.

Graphical abstract: Poly(vinyl alcohol) nanocomposites based on graphene and graphite oxide: a comparative investigation of property and mechanism

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Article information


Submitted
18 Apr 2011
Accepted
04 Jul 2011
First published
11 Aug 2011

J. Mater. Chem., 2011,21, 13942-13950
Article type
Paper

Poly(vinyl alcohol) nanocomposites based on graphene and graphite oxide: a comparative investigation of property and mechanism

C. Bao, Y. Guo, L. Song and Y. Hu, J. Mater. Chem., 2011, 21, 13942
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM11662B

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