What is graphene oxide?
Graphene oxide (GO) is an oxide of graphene, generally denoted by GO, which is brownish yellow in colour and is commonly available in powder, flake and solution form. Graphene oxide is more active than graphene due to the increase in the number of oxygen-containing functional groups on the oxide, and can improve its properties through various reactions with oxygen-containing functional groups.
Graphene oxide flakes are the product of chemical oxidation and exfoliation of graphite powder; graphene oxide is a single atomic layer that can be readily expanded in lateral dimensions to tens of microns.
The structure therefore spans the typical scales of general chemistry and materials science.Graphene oxide can be considered a non-traditional soft material with polymeric, colloidal, thin-film, and amphiphilic molecular properties.Graphene oxide has long been regarded as hydrophilic because of its superior dispersion in water, but experimental results show that graphene oxide is actually amphiphilic, with a hydrophilic to hydrophobic distribution from the edge to the centre of the graphene sheet.
As a result, graphene oxide can exist at interfaces as a surfactant and reduce the energy between interfaces. Its hydrophilicity is widely recognised.
What applications of graphene oxide?
Graphene oxide is a new type of carbon material with excellent properties, a high specific surface area and an abundance of functional groups on the surface. Graphene oxide composites, including polymer-based composites and inorganic composites, have a wide range of applications, so surface modification of graphene oxide has become another research focus.
In 2016 Karteri et al. investigated organic thin-film transistors with SiO2/ GO double insulating layers and their photoresponsive characteristic devices. The addition of GO not only increased the type and thickness of the insulating layers but also enhanced the characteristics of the transistors.
The effect of different GO layer thicknesses on the PCE of polymer solar cells was investigated using GO instead of PEDOT:PSS as the hole transport layer for polymer solar cells to obtain similar photoelectric conversion efficiencies (PCE), and it was found that the highest device photoelectric conversion efficiency was achieved at a GO film layer thickness of 2 nm.
Since GO contains many hydrophilic functional groups, it is easy to be modified. In addition, its large specific surface area, good dispersion and good moisture-sensitive properties make it an ideal sensor material, especially in the field of flexible sensors with a wide range of applications.
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