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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2013 Feb;13(2):946-53.

Supramolecular surface modification and dispersion of graphene in water and organic solvents.

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  • 1National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, China.


Graphene sheets have been dispersed in water and organic solvents by noncovalent surface modification with the assistance of bifunctional molecule pyrene-adamantane (Py-Ad) carrying a pyrene moiety. Lipophilic graphene sheets have been obtained in the form of graphene-Py-Ad in a wide variety of organic solvents, such as dimethyl sulfoxide, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, N,N'-dimethylformamide, and tetrahydrofuran, in which the adamantane moieties served as the three-dimensional steric groups keeping the graphene sheets from stacking. Supramolecular complexes were employed as the dispersing agent for graphene formed through in situ reduction by hydrazine or hydroquinone. Water-dispersible graphene sheets have been obtained in the form of graphene-Py-Ad-bMCD (methylated beta-cyclodextrin, bMCD), in which the pyrene moiety attached to graphene by pi-pi stacking interaction and hydrophobic effect, and the adamantane group formed complex with bMCD, yielding a supramolecular system that made graphene sheets dissolved in water through the formed hydrophilic cyclodextrin shell. The resulting supramolecular complexes were characterized by atomic force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermal gravimetric analysis, transmission electron microscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy.

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