About this Research Topic
Graphene (GR), known as an allotrope of carbon, is a two-dimensional single layer of graphite which possesses various unique properties such as superior electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity and mechanical properties, large surface-to- volume ratio, chemical inertness and flexibility. Graphene can be synthesized by various methods. For instance: micromechanical exfoliation of graphite, chemical vapor deposition, epitaxial growth, etc. Synthesis of graphene and graphene derivatives (graphene oxide, reduced graphene oxide, graphene quantum dots, graphene nanoribbons etc.) from solution-processes is a promising approach because it is suitable for large-scale production and applications. In general, graphene oxide is produced using Hummers' methods where graphite is oxidized using strong oxidants such as KMnO4 , KClO3 , and NaNO2 in the presence of nitric acid or its mixture with sulfuric acid. Graphene derivatives can also be prepared from electrochemical exfoliation of graphite without using toxic, corrosive, oxidizing/reducing reagents which is considered as a simple, rapid, and green method. Graphene derivatives are of great interest to certain areas of engineering science and technology. The specific surface area of graphene is much larger than other carbon based materials. Known as a zero-gap seminconductor, recent studies indicates that when it is combined with other suitable materials, graphene can effectively amplify and enhance the properties of the final product (nanocomposite) compared to their individual components. For example, composite composed of suitable matrix with graphene fillers showed excellent, thermal interface properties, significant improvement in thermal conductivities, clearly reduces the over-potential, and selective sensing properties, which exactly fit to fabricate chemical and biosensors.
These composite materials are not limited to chemical and biosensing applications and therefore, could be deployed as electrode materials in the energy conversion (solar cells and fuel cells) and energy storage applications (lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, redox flow batteries, super capacitors). There are several novel approaches/ synthetic routes that have been developed to synthesize and characterize “Graphene-I” based hybrid nanocomposites (I = polymer, metal nanoparticles, metal oxides, nano wires/rods/tubes etc.) for various applications.
In this Research Topic, we intend to bring a collection of research articles/reviews (short-communications, original research articles, and perspective) to further advance and display the new applications of graphene based nanocomposites in the following directions:
(i) Graphene or graphene derivatives based nanocomposite synthesis and
(ii) Chemical, biosensing, electrochemical sensors, and environmental sensor
(iii) Analytical/Electrochemistry phenomena characterization applications
(iv) Graphene based composite materials for the energy conversion and energy storage applications
Keywords: Graphene derivatives, polymer nanocomposites, chemical and biosensor, energy materials, electrochemistry
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