Graphene Based Nanomaterials: Synthesis and The Structural Applications
Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the development of nanomaterials and nanotechnology, graphene has attracted great attention due to its outstanding mechanical, electrical, and physical properties. Graphene oxide (GO), as a derivative of graphene, has also attracted great attention, especially as reinforcements for strong and lightweight composites. The most widely used method to synthesize GO is Hummers’ method, which involves hazardous chemicals and is a time-consuming process. In this thesis work, I will introduce a green and feasible process to produce GO and nitrogen-doped GO directly from bio-waste materials without catalyst or substrate. Their applications as oxygen reduction reaction catalyst in fuel cell and fast electroactive actuator will be demonstrated. Then I will explore GO’s application in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) composites and poly(acrylamide) (PAM) hydrogels. Through interfacial evolution, GO/PDMS composites and GO/PAM hydrogels will be able to stiffen in response to applied cyclic loads. It is shown that the hybrid chemical and physical crosslinking network plays a critical role in the dynamic self-stiffening response. These results provide insight into the complicated nature at the interface between polymer chains and GO, and will help to develop self-stiffening artificial muscle and soft robotics.
Graphene; Graphene oxide; Bio-waste synthesis; Dynamic self-stiffening