Thermo-Responsive Graphene Oxide/Poly(Ethyl Ethylene Phosphate) Nanocomposite via Ring Opening Polymerization.


Shanghai Key Laboratory of Crime Scene Evidence, Shanghai Research Institute of Criminal Science and Technology, Zhongshan North No 1 Road, Shanghai 200083, China. [Email]


An efficient strategy for growing thermo-sensitive polymers from the surface of exfoliated graphene oxide (GO) is reported in this article. GO sheets with hydroxyls and epoxy groups on the surface were first prepared by modified Hummer's method. Epoxy groups on GO sheets can be easily modified through ring-opening reactions, involving nucleophilic attack by tris(hydroxymethyl) aminomethane (TRIS). The resulting GO-TRIS sheets became a more versatile precursor for next ring opening polymerization (ROP) of ethyl ethylene phosphate (EEP), leading to GO-TRIS/poly(ethyl ethylene phosphate) (GO-TRIS-PEEP) nanocomposite. The nanocomposite was characterized by ¹H NMR, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential thermal gravity (DTG), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Since hydrophilic PEEP chains make the composite separate into single layers through hydrogen bonding interaction, the dispersity of the functionalized GO sheets in water is significantly improved. Meanwhile, the aqueous dispersion of GO-TRIS-PEEP nanocomposite shows reversible temperature switching self-assembly and disassembly behavior. Such a smart graphene oxide-based hybrid material is promising for applications in the biomedical field.


PEEP,ROP,grafting-from,graphene oxide,