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Issue 99, 2015
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Graphene exfoliation in ionic liquids: unified methodology

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Exfoliation constitutes a promising and straightforward technique to obtain a high-quality product (graphene, GRA) from an affordable source (graphite). Success of the exfoliation is blocked by inefficient solvents, which must prevent backward aggregation of GRA. The search for a solvent with optimal physicochemical properties is currently underway. This work applies a systematic methodology to rate solvents with respect to their performance in GRA exfoliation. The established methodology was applied to 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate, [EMIM][BF4], an ionic liquid (IL). Having derived thermodynamic descriptors during a real-time exfoliation, we conclude that the performance of [BMIM][BF4] is mediocre. Nevertheless, [EMIM][BF4] is a suitable starting point to engineer more advanced solvents. According to binding energy decomposition, the imidazole ring drives the GRA–[EMIM][BF4] interactions, while the impact of [BF4] is significantly smaller. We discuss possible pathways to improve the performance of ILs for GRA exfoliation.

Graphical abstract: Graphene exfoliation in ionic liquids: unified methodology

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Article information

20 Aug 2015
18 Sep 2015
First published
18 Sep 2015

RSC Adv., 2015,5, 81229-81234
Article type
Author version available

Graphene exfoliation in ionic liquids: unified methodology

V. V. Chaban and E. E. Fileti, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 81229
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA16857K

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