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Keywords:

  • atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP);
  • living radical polymerization;
  • nanocomposites;
  • radical polymerization;
  • reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT);
  • single electron transfer-living radical polymerization

Abstract

Graphene nanosheets possess a range of extraordinary physical and electrical properties with enormous potential for applications in microelectronics, photonic devices, and nanocomposite materials. However, single graphene platelets tend to undergo agglomeration due to strong π–π and Van der Waals interactions, which significantly compromises the final material properties. One of the strategies to overcome this problem, and to increase graphene compatibility with a receiving polymer host matrix, is to modify graphene (or graphene oxide (GO)) with polymer brushes. The research to date can be grouped into approaches involving grafting-from and grafting-to techniques, and further into approaches relying on covalent or noncovalent attachment of polymer chains to the suitably modified graphene/GO. The present Highlight article describes research efforts to date in this area, focusing on the use of controlled/living radical polymerization techniques. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2012