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Low-Temperature Aluminum Reduction of Graphene Oxide, Electrical Properties, Surface Wettability, and Energy Storage Applications

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-10-23, 00:00 authored by Dongyun Wan, Chongyin Yang, Tianquan Lin, Yufeng Tang, Mi Zhou, Yajuan Zhong, Fuqiang Huang, Jianhua Lin
Low-temperature aluminum (Al) reduction is first introduced to reduce graphene oxide (GO) at 100–200 °C in a two-zone furnace. The melted Al metal exhibits an excellent deoxygen ability to produce well-crystallized reduced graphene oxide (RGO) papers with a low O/C ratio of 0.058 (Al-RGO), compared with 0.201 in the thermally reduced one (T-RGO). The Al-RGO papers possess outstanding mechanical flexibility and extremely high electrical conductivities (sheet resistance Rs ∼ 1.75 Ω/sq), compared with 20.12 Ω/sq of T-RGO. More interestingly, very nice hydrophobic nature (90.5°) was observed, significantly superior to the reported chemically or thermally reduced papers. These enhanced properties are attributed to the low oxygen content in the RGO papers. During the aluminum reduction, highly active H atoms from H2O reacted with melted Al promise an efficient oxygen removal. This method was also applicable to reduce graphene oxide foams, which were used in the GO/SA (stearic acid) composite as a highly thermally conductive reservoir to hold the phase change material for thermal energy storage. The Al-reduced RGO/SnS2 composites were further used in an anode material of lithium ion batteries possessing a higher specific capacity. Overall, low-temperature Al reduction is an effective method to prepare highly conductive RGO papers and related composites for flexible energy conversion and storage device applications.