Ultrasound exfoliation of graphite in biphasic liquid systems containing ionic liquids: A study on the conditions for obtaining large few-layers graphene.


MackGraphe (Graphene and Nanomaterials Research Center), Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Rua da Consolação, 930, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Herein we describe a successful protocol for graphite exfoliation using a biphasic liquid system (water/dichloromethane, DCM) containing ionic liquids (ILs; 1,3-dibenzylimidazolium benzoate- and 1-naphthoate). The use of (surface active) IL and sonication led to stable DCM/water (O/W) emulsion, which enhanced graphene formation, suppressed its re-aggregation and decreased shear/cavitation damage. The O/W emulsion stabilization by the ILs was studied by dynamic light scattering (DLS), whereas their interaction with the graphene sheets were described by Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations. Moreover, a comprehensive investigation on cavitation-based exfoliation in the O/W systems was performed to assess the importance of operational parameters, including, the type of ultrasound processor, ultrasound power and insonation, and the influence of the exfoliation medium.


Biphasic liquid system,Cavitation-based emulsification,Graphene,Ionic liquids,Liquid phase exfoliation,