Efficient room-temperature production of high-quality graphene by introducing removable oxygen functional groups to the precursor†
The excellent solution-processability of graphene oxide (GO) has provided a collection of strategies for the construction of functional graphene assemblies. To improve the performance of graphene-based materials, structurally intact GO should be prepared as a precursor for high-quality graphene; however, solution chemical methods have been constantly challenged by a structural integrity versus fabrication yield trade-off. Here, we report a wet chemical method for the high-efficiency production of a high-quality graphene oxide precursor, with all steps conducted at room-temperature. The functionalization of graphite was performed under temperature and water content control in a concentrated sulfuric acid–potassium permanganate system, and the resulting GO showed a monolayer yield of over 120%. We show that the increased production yield comes from the high functionalization degree and, more interestingly, the functional groups on GO were proven to be removable upon reduction with hydroiodic acid, which produced high-quality graphene-based materials.