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Synthesis of Fluorinated Graphene Oxide and its Amphiphobic Properties




The richly functionalized basal plane bonded to polar organic moieties makes graphene oxide (GO) innately hydrophilic. Here, a methodology to synthesize fluorinated graphene oxide by oxidizing the basal plane of fluorinated graphite, allowing for tunable hydrophobicity of GO, is reported. Fluorine exists as tertiary alkyl fluorides covalently bonded to graphitic carbons, and using magic-angle spinning (MAS) 13C NMR as a primary tool chemical structures for the two types of synthesized fluorinated graphene oxides (FGOs) with significantly different fluorine contents are proposed. The low surface energy of the C–F bond drastically affects GO's wetting behavior, leading to amphiphobicity in its highly fluorinated form. Ease of solution processing enables the fabrication of inks that are spray-painted on various porous/non-porous substrates. These coatings maintain amphiphobicity for solvents with surface tensions down to 59 dyn/cm, thus bypassing existing lithographic means to create similar surfaces. The approach towards fluorinating GO and fabricating graphene-based surfaces with tunable wettability opens the path towards unique, accessible, carbon-based amphiphobic coatings.