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Graphene Oxide

Graphene oxide(GO) is a two dimensional material. It is the oxidized form of graphene, with O functional groups decorating the sp2 C basal plane.

Due to the presence of the oxygen functional groups, graphene oxide is also hydrophilic and it can be dispersed in water solution, contrary to graphene which is hydrophobic. So this property of graphene oxide is very important when mixing the material with ceramic or polymer matrixes when trying to improve their electrical and mechanical properties.

The size of the graphene oxide flakes can be also tuned and varied from a few nm to mm. The tunability of both its chemical composition and flakes size makes graphene oxide an appealing material in many fields: electronics (sensors and transparent conductive films), composites materials, clean energy devices, biology and medicine.

Graphene oxide has an extremely high surface area; therefore, these materials are considered for usage as electrode materials in batteries and double-layered capacitors, as well as fuel cells and solar cells.

Graphene oxide can be used as biosensors. Since graphene oxide is a fluorescent material, it can be used for biosensing applications, for early disease detection, and even for assisting in finding cures for cancer and detecting biologically relevant molecules. Graphene oxide has been successfully used in fluorescent-based biosensors for the detection of DNA and proteins with a promise of better diagnostics.

Graphene oxide is also used in the biomedical field, particularly in drug-delivery systems. Graphene oxide is likely superior to many other anticancer drugs because it does not target healthy cells, only tumors, and has a low toxicity.

In coating technology graphene oxide can be used also. Multilayer graphene oxide films are optically transparent and impermeable under dry conditions. Exposed to water (or water vapor), they allow passage of molecules smaller than a certain size. Glassware or copperplates covered with such a graphene “paint” can be used as containers for corrosive acids. Graphene-coated plastic films could be used in medical packaging to improve shelf life.

Graphene oxide mixes readily with many polymers, forming nanocomposites, and greatly enhances the properties of the original polymer, including elastic modulus, tensile strength, electrical conductivity, and thermal stability. In its solid form, graphene oxide flakes tend to attach to one another, forming thin and extremely stable paper-like structures that can be folded, wrinkled, and stretched. Such free-standing graphene oxide films are considered for applications including hydrogen storage applications, ion conductors, and nanofiltration membranes.

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