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Influence of light wavelength on the photoactivity, physicochemical transformation, and fate of graphene oxide in aqueous media

Abstract

The rapidly increasing production and application of graphene oxide (GO) calls for a much-needed attention to aspects related to the environmental implications of this unique nanomaterial. To date, very little is known about the transformation of GO when exposed to electromagnetic radiation at different wavelengths, which can occur in natural water system. This study explored the changes in the physicochemical properties of GO when exposed to UV and visible wavelength range of simulated solar light. Irradiation, especially under UV light, led to remarkable changes in the surface oxygen (O)-functionalities of GO, and cleavage of GO’s graphitic bond. The carbon/oxygen (C/O) ratio of GO increased by 41% and 31% after irradiation with simulated solar light and UV irradiation. Visible light also changed the morphology of GO, but the C/O ratio only increased by 5.5%. The formation of hydroxyl radical (•OH), superoxide (O2•–) and singlet oxygen (1O2) by GO was observed during both UV and visible irradiation, but the proportion was different. 1O2 was primarily formed during the visible light irradiation, while O2•– and •OH were mostly formed under UV light. Among all reactive oxygen species, •OH hydroxylated GO, and mainly resulted in the decomposition of GO. The changes of O-containing functional groups on GO by irradiation may mainly influence the colloidal stability of GO in aqueous media, but the physical wrinkle on GO surface may strongly affect its interactions with other organic materials.

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Jun 2018, accepted on 11 Sep 2018 and first published on 11 Sep 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00593A
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Influence of light wavelength on the photoactivity, physicochemical transformation, and fate of graphene oxide in aqueous media

    T. Du, A. Adeleye, T. Zhang, C. Jiang, M. Zhang, H. Wang, Y. Li, A. A. Keller and W. Chen, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00593A

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