Colossal Pressure-Induced Lattice Expansion of Graphite Oxide in the Presence of Water


  • High-pressure experiments at HASYLAB were supported by the GFZ Potsdam under the MAX80 program. This work was partially supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche grant NT05-3_42601. Some of the high-pressure experiments (A.T.) were performed at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut under the EU “Research Infrastructures: Transnational Access” Programme (Contract No. 505320 (RITA)—High Pressure). We thank Prof. L. Dubrovinsky for providing access to facilities at BGI and discussions.


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Expansion under compression: The unit-cell volume of graphite oxide pressurized in water media, continuously increases reaching a sharp maximum at ca. 1.3–1.5 GPa (see picture, squares). Expansion of the lattice to a maximum of about 28–30 % is because of gradual pressure-induced water insertion into the interlayer space of graphite oxide. The effect is reversible (triangles), resulting in a unique “breathing” of the structure upon pressure variation.