Reversible Cluster Aggregation and Growth Model for Graphene Suspensions

Michail Alifierakis, Kevin S. Sallah, Ilhan A. Aksay, Jean-Herve Prevost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We present a reversible cluster aggregation model for 2-D macromolecules represented by line segments in 2-D; and, we use it to describe the aggregation process of functionalized graphene particles in an aqueous SDS surfactant solution. The model produces clusters with similar sizes and structures as a function of SDS concentration in agreement with experiments and predicts the existence of a critical surfactant concentration (Ccrit) beyond which thermodynamically stable graphene suspensions form. Around Ccrit, particles form dense clusters rapidly and sediment. At C ≪ Ccrit, a contiguous ramified network of graphene gel forms which also densifies, but at a slower rate, and sediments with time. The deaggregation–reaggregation mechanism of our model captures the restructuring of the large aggregates towards a graphite-like structure for the low SDS concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5462-5473
Number of pages12
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • Diffusion Limited Aggregation (DLA)
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS)
  • aggregation
  • dispersion
  • graphene
  • water


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