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3-Arm star pyrene-functional PMMAs for efficient exfoliation of graphite in chloroform: fabrication of graphene-reinforced fibrous veils

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Abstract

3-Arm PMMAs end-functionalized by pyrene were designed as dispersing/stabilizing agents for the liquid-phase exfoliation of graphite in low-boiling point solvents like chloroform. The synthetic procedure comprised ARGET ATRP controlled polymerization, click chemistry and the quaternization reaction of triazole, ensuring tailor-made, well-defined pyrene-functional star PMMAs. Among a series of different pyrene-functional macromolecular topologies, the (PMMA-py2)3 proved the most efficient exfoliation agent giving relatively high graphene concentration (0.36 mg ml−1) at exceptionally low polymer/graphite mass ratio (mP/mGF = 0.003) and short sonication time (3 h). A 5-cycle iterative procedure relying on the redispersion of the sediment was developed yielding CG = 1.29 mg ml−1 with 14.8% exfoliation yield, under the favorable conditions of 10.5 h total shear mixing/tip sonication time and overall mP/mGF ratio as low as 0.15. In parallel, all-atom molecular dynamics simulations were conducted which helped understand the mechanism by which pyrene-functional macromolecular topologies act as efficient dispersing agents of graphene. Finally the G@(PMMA-Py)3 hybrids were well dispersed into the PMMA matrix by electrospinning to fabricate graphene-based nanocomposite fibrous veils. These graphene/polymer nanocomposites exhibited enhanced stiffness and strength by a factor of 4.4 with 1.5 wt% graphene hybrids as nanofillers.

Graphical abstract: 3-Arm star pyrene-functional PMMAs for efficient exfoliation of graphite in chloroform: fabrication of graphene-reinforced fibrous veils

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Aug 2018, accepted on 01 Oct 2018 and first published on 03 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR06888G
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    3-Arm star pyrene-functional PMMAs for efficient exfoliation of graphite in chloroform: fabrication of graphene-reinforced fibrous veils

    S. S. Gkermpoura, K. D. Papadimitriou, E. N. Skountzos, I. Polyzos, M. G. Pastore Carbone, A. Kotrotsos, V. G. Mavrantzas, C. Galiotis and C. Tsitsilianis, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR06888G

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