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Freeze-Casting Produces a Graphene Oxide Aerogel with a Radial and Centrosymmetric Structure

  • Chunhui Wang
    Chunhui Wang
    Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    More by Chunhui Wang
  • Xiong Chen
    Xiong Chen
    Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    More by Xiong Chen
  • Bin Wang
    Bin Wang
    Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    More by Bin Wang
  • Ming Huang
    Ming Huang
    Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    School of Materials Science and Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    More by Ming Huang
  • Bo Wang
    Bo Wang
    Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    More by Bo Wang
  • Yi Jiang
    Yi Jiang
    Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    More by Yi Jiang
  • , and 
  • Rodney S. Ruoff*
    Rodney S. Ruoff
    Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    Department of Chemistry  and  School of Materials Science and Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan 44919, Republic of Korea
    *E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Nano 2018, 12, 6, 5816–5825
Publication Date (Web):May 14, 2018
Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    We report the assembly of graphene oxide (G-O) building blocks into a vertical and radially aligned structure by a bidirectional freeze-casting approach. The crystallization of water to ice assembles the G-O sheets into a structure, a G-O aerogel whose local structure mimics turbine blades. The centimeter-scale radiating structure in this aerogel has many channels whose width increases with distance from the center. This was achieved by controlling the formation of the ice crystals in the aqueous G-O dispersion that grew radially in the shape of lamellae during freezing. Because the shape and size of ice crystals is influenced by the G-O sheets, different additives (ethanol, cellulose nanofibers, and chitosan) that can form hydrogen bonds with H2O were tested and found to affect the interaction between the G-O and formation of ice crystals, producing ice crystals with different shapes. A G-O/chitosan aerogel with a spiral pattern was also obtained. After chemical reduction of G-O, our aerogel exhibited elasticity and absorption capacity superior to that of graphene aerogels with “traditional” pore structures made by conventional freeze-casting. This methodology can be expanded to many other configurations and should widen the use of G-O (and reduced G-O and “graphenic”) aerogels.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.8b01747.

    • Illustration of the growth of ice crystals restricted by radial and axial temperature gradients, chemical characterizations (FT-IR, XPS, XRD, 13C NMR, and Raman), nitrogen adsorption–desorption isotherms, photos showing detailed common, unidirectional, and BDF freezing process, gravimetric and volumetric adsorption capacities of a BDF aerogel (PDF)

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