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A powerful tool for graphene functionalization: Benzophenone mediated UV-grafting

Roppolo, Ignazio, Chiappone, Annalisa, Bejtka, Katarzyna, Celasco, Edvige, Chiodoni, Angelica, Giorgis, Fabrizio, Sangermano, Marco, Porro, Samuele
Carbon 2014 v.77 pp. 226-235
benzophenones, graphene, graphene oxide, moieties, polymer nanocomposites, ultraviolet radiation
The surface modification of graphene is of fundamental importance when working on the fabrication of high performing polymeric nanocomposite exploiting the exciting properties of this carbon-based material. Using low cost graphene oxide as starting material, trading on its richness of –OH groups and its ability to be reduced under UV light, a facile two-step UV-based process for the reduction to graphene and the simultaneous covalent grafting of initiating moieties at its surface is here proposed. This procedure enables the subsequent photo-grafting of a great variety of monomers for graphene surface functionalization.Chemical, structural and electrical analysis of the functionalized graphene sheets demonstrated the reduction of the starting oxide and the grafting of the initiator and of the acrylic monomers used in this study. This procedure opens the route for a low cost production of grafted graphene that can be easily dispersed in organic matrices, in order to produce highly performing functional materials.