Strong composite films with layered structures prepared by casting silk fibroin–graphene oxide hydrogels†
Composite films of graphene oxide (GO) sheets and silk fibroin (SF) with layered structures have been prepared by facile solution casting of SF–GO hydrogels. The as-prepared composite film containing 15% (by weight, wt%) of SF shows a high tensile strength of 221 ± 16 MPa and a failure strain of 1.8 ± 0.4%, which partially surpass those of natural nacre. Particularly, this composite film also has a high modulus of 17.2 ± 1.9 GPa. The high mechanical properties of this composite film can be attributed to its high content of GO (85 wt%), compact layered structure and the strong hydrogen bonding interaction between SF chains and GO sheets.