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ACS Nano. 2014 Sep 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Liquid Crystal Size Selection of Large-Size Graphene Oxide for Size-Dependent N-Doping and Oxygen Reduction Catalysis.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) , Daejeon 305-701, Korea.


Graphene oxide (GO) is aqueous-dispersible oxygenated graphene, which shows colloidal discotic liquid crystallinity. Many properties of GO-based materials, including electrical conductivity and mechanical properties, are limited by the small flake size of GO. Unfortunately, typical sonochemical exfoliation of GO from graphite generally leads to a broad size and shape distribution. Here, we introduce a facile size selection of large-size GO exploiting liquid crystallinity and investigate the size-dependent N-doping and oxygen reduction catalysis. In the biphasic GO dispersion where both isotropic and liquid crystalline phases are equilibrated, large-size GO flakes (>20 μm) are spontaneously concentrated within the liquid crystalline phase. N-Doping and reduction of the size-selected GO exhibit that N-dopant type is highly dependent on GO flake size. Large-size GO demonstrates quaternary dominant N-doping and the lowest onset potential (-0.08 V) for oxygen reduction catalysis, signifying that quaternary N-dopants serve as principal catalytic sites in N-doped graphene.

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