Reduction Study of Oxidized Two-dimensional Graphene-based Materials by Chemical and Thermal Reduction Methods
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Graphene is a two-dimensional (2D) sp2-hybridized carbon-based material possessing properties which include high electrical conductivity, ballistic thermal conductivity, tensile strength exceeding that of steel, high flexural strength, optical transparency, and the ability to adsorb and desorb atoms and molecules. Due to the characteristics of said material, graphene is a candidate for applications in integrated circuits, electrochromic devices, transparent conducting electrodes, desalination, solar cells, thermal management materials, polymer nanocomposites, and biosensors. Despite the above mentioned properties and possible applications, very few technologies have been commercialized utilizing graphene due to the high cost associated with the production of graphene. Therefore, a great deal of effort and research has been performed to produce a material that provides similar properties, reduced graphene oxide due (RGO) to the ease of commercial scaling of the production processes. This material is typically prepared through the oxidation of graphite in an aqueous media to graphene oxide (GO) followed by reduction to yield RGO. Although this material has been extensively studied, there is a lack of consistency in the scientific community regarding the analysis of the resulting RGO material. In this dissertation, a study of the reduction methods for GO and an alternate 2D carbon-based material, humic acid (HA), followed by analysis of the materials using Raman spectroscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS). Means of reduction will include chemical and thermal methods. Characterization of the material has been carried out on both before and after reduction.