Biological reduction of graphene oxide using plant leaf extracts



Two-dimensional graphene has attracted significant attention due to its unique mechanical, electrical, thermal, and optical properties. Most commonly employed methods to chemically reduce graphene oxide to graphene use hydrazine or its derivatives as the reducing agent. However, they are highly hazardous and explosive. Various phytochemicals obtained from different natural sources such as leaves and peels of a plant are used as reducing agents in the preparation of different gold, silver, copper, and platinum nanoparticles. In this study, seven plant leaf extracts (Cherry, Magnolia, Platanus, Persimmon, Pine, Maple, and Ginkgo) were compared for their abilities to reduce graphene oxide. The optimized reaction conditions for the reduction of graphene oxide were determined as follows. Type of plant: Cherry (Prunus serrulata), reaction time: 12 h, composition of the reaction mixture: 16.7% v/v of plant leaf extract in total suspension, and temperature: 95°C. The degree of reduction caused by Cherry leaf extract was analyzed by elemental analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The reduction of graphene oxide was also confirmed by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 30:463–469, 2014