Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 March 2014
The high cohesive interaction between reduced graphene oxide (RGO) sheets usually makes them difficult to disperse, which limits their utilization in achieving effective hybridization with polymers. We report here a new two-step route for preparing non-aggregated and high-conductive RGO powders. Graphene oxide precursor was first reduced by hydrazine hydrate in presence of a thermal unstable surfactant of cetyltrimethylammonium chloride (CTAC). Then a thermal annealing process under H2/Ar atmosphere was further used to remove the non-conductive CTAC molecules. The prepared RGO powder exhibited an electrical conductivity of 2.23 × 104 S m−1 – about ten times higher than the one (N-RGO) simply reduced by hydrazine hydrate. After incorporating into polymethylmethacrylate with a 5 wt% loading, the composite showed a conductivity of 4.11 S m−1, which was 60 times as high as that of the same composite based on N-RGO powder. The addition and subsequent removal of CTAC molecules is an effective method for preparing non-aggregated and highly conductive graphene powder and obtaining good incorporation into polymer matrices.