Reduced Graphene Oxide Joins Graphene Oxide To Teach Undergraduate Students Core Chemistry and Nanotechnology Concepts
Novel carbon nanomaterials such as reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and graphene oxide (GO) can be easily incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum to discuss basic chemistry and nanotechnology concepts. This paper describes a laboratory experiment designed to study the differences between GO and rGO regarding their physico-chemical properties (e.g. color, hydrophobicity, type of functional groups, electrical conductivity etc.). In this course, students carry out the chemical reduction of GO using ascorbic acid, a mild and environmentally friendly reducing agent. The differences between GO and rGO can be spotted by naked eye and can be further evaluated by spectroscopic methods, as FTIR and UV-vis spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Simple and applicable in all laboratories method was proposed to reveal the different electrical properties of GO and rGO. Moreover, the proposed laboratory experiment is an ideal pretext to discuss the definition of graphene in the context of the overuse of this term in the literature.
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