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Nat Commun. 2015 Jan 21;6:5716. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6716.

An iron-based green approach to 1-h production of single-layer graphene oxide.

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MOE Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Synthesis and Functionalization, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Polymer Building, 38 Zheda Road, Hangzhou 310027, P.R. China.


As a reliable and scalable precursor of graphene, graphene oxide (GO) is of great importance. However, the environmentally hazardous heavy metals and poisonous gases, explosion risk and long reaction times involved in the current synthesis methods of GO increase the production costs and hinder its real applications. Here we report an iron-based green strategy for the production of single-layer GO in 1 h. Using the strong oxidant K2FeO4, our approach not only avoids the introduction of polluting heavy metals and toxic gases in preparation and products but also enables the recycling of sulphuric acid, eliminating pollution. Our dried GO powder is highly soluble in water, in which it forms liquid crystals capable of being processed into macroscopic graphene fibres, films and aerogels. This green, safe, highly efficient and ultralow-cost approach paves the way to large-scale commercial applications of graphene.

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