Harnessing the Liquid-Phase Exfoliation of Graphene Using Aliphatic Compounds: A Supramolecular Approach


  • We thank Dr. Markus Döbbelin for performing preliminary experiments. This work was supported by the European Commission through the Marie-Curie ITN GENIUS (grant number PITN-GA-2010-264694), the Graphene Flagship (grant number GA-604391), the NMP-CP HYMEC (project number 263073), and the FET project UPGRADE (project number 309056), the ESF-EuroGRAPHENE project GOSPEL, the ANR through the LabEx project NIE and the International Center for Frontier Research in Chemistry (icFRC). We acknowledge Profs. M.-W. Hosseini and S. Ferlay (UdS) for the access to the thermogravimetric analyses. P. May is acknowledged for assistance with the Raman measurements.


The technological exploitation of the extraordinary properties of graphene relies on the ability to achieve full control over the production of a high-quality material and its processing by up-scalable approaches in order to fabricate large-area films with single-layer or a few atomic-layer thickness, which might be integrated in working devices. A simple method is reported for producing homogenous dispersions of unfunctionalized and non-oxidized graphene nanosheets in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) by using simple molecular modules, which act as dispersion-stabilizing compounds during the liquid-phase exfoliation (LPE) process, leading to an increase in the concentration of graphene in dispersions. The LPE-processed graphene dispersion was shown to be a conductive ink. This approach opens up new avenues for the technological applications of this graphene ink as low-cost electrodes and conducting nanocomposite for electronics.