Distinguishing characteristics and usability of graphene oxide based on different sources of graphite feedstock.

Affiliation

Chemical Engineering Programme, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia; Centre for Sustainable Process Technology (CESPRO), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Graphene oxide (GO) has gained popularity in scientific research and industry due to its superior properties, which can be controlled by the synthesis method and graphite feedstock. Despite the availability of different graphite sources, most of the reported studies used natural graphite flake (NGF) as a source of oxidation for GO synthesis. The effect of various alternative graphite feedstocks on the GO properties has not been investigated systematically. This study investigated the influence of graphite feedstock (natural and synthetic) on the characteristics and properties of GO via modified Hummer's method. Natural graphite flake (NGF), natural graphite powder (NGP), and synthetic graphite powder (SGP) were used as graphite feedstock in the study. Energy-dispersive X-ray analysis revealed that the GO produced using NGP (NGP-GO) has higher oxygen to carbon ratio in comparison to GO made from NGF (NGF-GO) and GO made from SGP (SGP-GO) (35.4, 32.7, and 32.2%, respectively), indicating higher oxidation degree for NGP-GO. Zeta potential analysis for NGP-GO, NGF-GO and SGP-GO were -47.8, -42.6 and -39.4 mV, respectively. Morphological analysis revealed that the structures of GO varied according to graphite feedstock, in which (NGP-GO) and (NGF-GO) were highly exfoliated (single-layered structure) while (SGP-GO) showed a multi-layered structure. Further testing was conducted by decorating silver (Ag) nanoparticles on the GO. The results showed that Ag could be uniformly decorated (no agglomeration) on the surface of GO-NGP, due to the presence of more functional groups. Subsequently, the antimicrobial property of Ag-NGP was the highest with an inhibition diameter of 14.7 ± 1.2 mm (30% higher than the other samples). In conclusion, the properties of GO can be tuned by selecting the suitable graphite feedstock and this might pave the way to new developments in the GO-based applications.

Keywords

Antimicrobial,Graphene oxide,Natural and synthetic graphite,Oxidation degree,Silver nanocomposite,

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