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Hybrid films of reduced graphene oxide with noble metal nanoparticles generated at a liquid/liquid interface for applications in catalysis

Bramhaiah, K., John, Neena S.
RSC advances 2013 v.3 no.21 pp. 7765-7773
Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, catalysts, catalytic activity, chemical reduction, films (materials), graphene oxide, nanogold, nanoparticles, nanosilver, p-nitrophenol, palladium, scanning electron microscopy, silver, transmission electron microscopy
Free-standing ultra-thin hybrid films of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) with Au, Ag and Pd nanoparticles are generated at an aqueous/organic interface by in situ chemical reduction and spontaneous assembly. The reduction is initiated at a ‘bare’ interface or a ‘modified’ interface in a single step or two-step synthetic strategy. The hybrid materials are characterized by UV-visible, infra-red and Raman spectroscopies, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron (SEM), transmission electron (TEM) and atomic force microscopies (AFM). UV-visible spectra confirm the presence of isolated metal nanoparticles grafted on to rGO layers and Raman spectra signal a charge transfer across the constituent metal nanoparticles and rGO in the hybrid material. SEM and AFM studies show that the morphology of the hybrid films constitutes a homogeneous dispersion of metal nanoparticles and rGO for reduction at the ‘bare’ interface, and a random grafting of metal nanoparticles on rGO for reduction at the ‘modified’ interface. A mechanism for the formation of the films is proposed that involves a simultaneous transport and reduction of GO sheets and metal precursor at the interface or a directed reduction of metal precursor on rGO surface, facilitated by external aids. The utility of these hybrid films as catalysts is exemplified in p-nitrophenol reduction. Our method provides a fast, simple and inexpensive route to obtain free-standing hybrid films of rGO with metal nanoparticles for various applications.