High-Concentration Graphene Dispersions with Minimal Stabilizer: A Scaffold for Enzyme Immobilization for Glucose Oxidation

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Abstract

Modified acrylate polymers are able to effectively exfoliate and stabilize pristine graphene nanosheets in aqueous media. Starting with pre-exfoliated graphite greatly promotes the exfoliation level. The graphene concentration is significantly increased up to 11 mg mL−1 by vacuum evaporation of the solvent from the dispersions under ambient temperature. TEM shows that 75 % of the flakes have fewer than five layers with about 18 % of the flakes consisting of monolayers. Importantly, a successive centrifugation and redispersion strategy is developed to enable the formation of dispersions with exceptionally high graphene-to-stabilizer ratio. Characterization by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy shows the flakes to be of high quality with very low levels of defects. These dispersions can act as a scaffold for the immobilization of enzymes applied, for example, in glucose oxidation. The electrochemical current density was significantly enhanced to be approximately six times higher than an electrode in the absence of graphene, thus showing potential applications in enzymatic biofuel cells.

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