A stabiliser is expected to be relatively well soluble in order to disperse hydrophobic graphene in water. Here, we show that exfoliation can be achieved also with insoluble pyrene stabilisers, if designed ad hoc. In particular, bis-pyrene stabilisers (BPSs) functionalised with pyrrolidine provide higher exfoliation efficiency and percentage of single layers, as compared to traditional pyrene derivatives, under the same experimental conditions. This is attributed to the enhanced interactions between BPS and graphene, provided by the presence of two pyrene binding groups. This approach is therefore attractive not only to produce highly concentrated graphene, but also to use graphene to disperse insoluble molecules in water. The enhanced adsorption of BPS on graphene, however, is reflected in the higher toxicity on human epithelial bronchial immortalized cells, limiting the use of this material for biomedical applications.
|Journal||Faraday Discussions of the Chemical Society|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 20 Dec 2019|