Rational designed of graphene dispersant

  • Junru Zhang

Student thesis: Master of Science by Research


In this work a novel pyrene based stabiliser has been synthesised in order to increase the production of higher quality graphene in aqueous liquid phase exfoliation. A comparative investigation of liquid phase exfoliation of graphene in water by using designed pyrene stabiliser sodium 4-(pyren-1-yl)butane-1-sulphonate (Py-C4-SASS) and commercially available 1-pyrenesulfonic acid sodium salt (Py-SASS). The graphene dispersion produced with the novel stabiliser (Py-C4-SASS) achieves a high concentration of ~1 mg mL-1. In comparison to the commercially available stabiliser (Py-SASS) which produces a dispersion 0.4 mg mL-1 under the same experimental conditions. Raman spectroscopy shows both graphene dispersions contain few layer graphene flakes, however the flake size distribution shows that with Py-C4-SASS as the exfoliation agent the dispersion produces larger graphene flakes (~ 0.4 micro metre) compared to the Py-SASS graphene dispersion (~ 0.2 micro metre). A conductivity test is performed to compare the sheet resistance of two graphene inkjet-printed patterns, the results show that the pattern produced from Py-C4-SASS dispersions has lower sheet resistance (~ 83.76 kΩ/sq) compared to the Py-SASS graphene dispersions(~ 170.21 kΩ/sq). These results suggest that the newly designed stabiliser Py-C4-SASS enhances the performance in assisting with the liquid phase exfoliation of graphene in water compare to the commercially available stabiliser Py-SASS. This might be because the insertion of a butyl spacer between pyrene aromatic unit and sulfonic acid sodium group could let the hydrophilic group and aromatic moiety of this molecule work more independently.
Date of Award31 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPeter Quayle (Supervisor) & Stephen Yeates (Supervisor)


  • Liquid phase exfoliation
  • Graphene

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