The simple synthesis of ultralow-density (≈2.32 mg cm-3) 3D reduced graphene oxide (rGO) aerogels that exhibit high electrical conductivity and excellent compressibility are described herein. Aerogels are synthesized using a combined hydrothermal and thermal annealing method in which hexamethylenetetramine is employed as a reducer, nitrogen source, and graphene dispersion stabilizer. The N-binding configurations of rGO aerogels increase dramatically, as evidenced by the change in pyridinic-N/quaternary-N ratio. The conductivity of this graphene aerogel is ≈11.74 S m-1 at zero strain, whereas the conductivity at a compressive strain of ≈80% is ≈704.23 S m-1, which is the largest electrical conductivity reported so far in any 3D sponge-like low-density carbon material. In addition, the aerogel has excellent hydrophobicity (with a water contact angle of 137.4) as well as selective absorption for organic solvents and oils. The compressive modulus (94.5 kPa; ρ ≈ 2.32 mg cm-3) of the rGO aerogel is higher than that of other carbon-based aerogels. The physical and chemical properties (such as high conductivity, elasticity, high surface area, open pore structure, and chemical stability) of the aerogel suggest that it is a viable candidate for the use in energy storage, electrodes for fuel cells, photocatalysis, environmental protection, energy absorption, and sensing applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the MSIP (Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning), Korea, under the "IT Consilience Creative Program" (IITP-2015-R0346-15-1008) supervised by the IITP (Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion). This research was also supported by a grant from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2013R1A1A2012111).
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics