MSE Seminar Series: Jiaxing Huang
Friday, March 29, 2013
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Room 2110 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
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Graphene Oxide: Curiosities, Challenges and Solutions
Jiaxing Huang Department of Materials Science and Engineering Northwestern University
Graphite oxide sheets, now called graphene oxide (GO), are made by exfoliation of graphite using century-old chemical reactions. Interest in this old material has resurged with the rapid development of graphene since 2004, as GO is considered to be a promising precursor for bulk production of graphene. Apart from making graphene, GO itself also has many intriguing properties. For example, GO can be viewed as soft material such as two-dimensional (2D) polymers, highly anisotropic colloids that can form liquid crystals, membranes, or 2D surfactants.
In this talk, I will share some curiosity driven discoveries such as the use of GO as surfactant, which has led to all-carbon composites for solar cells. GO sheets can also re-stack to construct nanofluidic ion channels. Next, I will highlight a few problems associated with the manufacturing and processing of GO and its graphene product, including the potential fire risk of GO, the difficulties of imaging these single atomic layers and their ease of aggregation during processing. Strategies and solutions to address these problems will be introduced. Some applications in photovoltaics and energy storage will be discussed.