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Oxygen-Driven Unzipping of Graphitic Materials Je-Luen Li,1
 

Summary: Oxygen-Driven Unzipping of Graphitic Materials
Je-Luen Li,1
Konstantin N. Kudin,1
Michael J. McAllister,2
Robert K. Prud'homme,2
Ilhan A. Aksay,2
and Roberto Car1
1
Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA
(Received 16 January 2006; published 2 May 2006)
Optical microscope images of graphite oxide (GO) reveal the occurrence of fault lines resulting from
the oxidative processes. The fault lines and cracks of GO are also responsible for their much smaller size
compared with the starting graphite materials. We propose an unzipping mechanism to explain the
formation of cracks on GO and cutting of carbon nanotubes in an oxidizing acid. GO unzipping is initiated
by the strain generated by the cooperative alignment of epoxy groups on a carbon lattice. We employ two
small GO platelets to show that through the binding of a new epoxy group or the hopping of a nearby
existing epoxy group, the unzipping process can be continued during the oxidative process of graphite.
The same epoxy group binding pattern is also likely to be present in an oxidized carbon nanotube and

  

Source: Aksay, Ilhan A. - Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University

 

Collections: Materials Science