High-barrier polymer nanocomposites through the tailoring of the graphene spatial structuring


Due to its promising properties, graphene nanofiller has been widely proposed in the preparation of multifunctional polymer-based nanocomposites with enhanced electrical, thermal, barrier and mechanical properties. However the ultimate properties of these materials mainly depend on the morphology of graphene nanofiller: homogeneous dispersion, 2D-layer seemly to a continuous graphene layer or alternatively 3D-graphene network. This talk will review our perspectives for the tailoring of graphene morphology in advanced polymer-graphene nanocomposites with high barrier properties.

A) Layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technique has been adopted for fabricating alternating multilayered coatings of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and high amorphous vinyl alcohol (HAVOH) deposited on PET substrate. The coating with 40 layers of HAVOH/rGO/zirconium adducts (~280nm) leads to a decrease of oxygen permeability of about one order of magnitude compared to the bare PET substrate.

B) An innovative approach, based on latex mixing and co-coagulation process, has been developed to prepare natural rubber/rGO nanocomposites with a 3D-graphene segregated network. This morphology reduces significantly the gases permeability compared to pristine rubber matrix and enhances mechanical and electrical properties of rubber nanocomposites.

C) The solution-casting approach has been adopted for the preparation of chitosan/GO composite films for packaging applications. The simultaneous presence of boron crosslinkers and rGO which enables the formation of bigger graphene based nanoparticles, allows the formation of a layered graphene morphology within the sample thickness. This morphology brings to a significant increment of both tensile strength and elongation at break (about 160 and 130%) and gas barrier resistance (i.e reduction of oxygen permeability of about 90% with respect to the pristine chitosan).


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  2. N.Yan, GG.Buonocore, M.Lavorgna, S.Kaciulis, S.Kiran, BY.Zhan, H.Xia, L.Ambrosio, Composites Science and Technology, V102, Pages 74-81 (2014)
  3. Y.Zhan, M.Lavorgna, GG.Buonocore, H.Xia, Journal of Materials Chemistry, V22(21), pp.10464-10468, (2012)
  4. Y Zhan, J Wu, H Xia, N Yan, G Fei, G Yuan, Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 296(7), pp. 590–602 (2011)


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