Wet processing of graphene sheets is a potentially interesting route for the economically viable creation of graphene-based composites. In the present work, flow dichroism and small-angle light scattering are used to investigate the dispersion of functionalized graphene sheets in a suspension and their response to shear flow. In line with expectations from scaling theory at rest, the functionalized graphene sheets are present as Brownian flat sheets, and there is no evidence of significant crumpling. More surprisingly, we find that the rate-dependent orientation of these molecularly thin sheets can be described by numerical predictions for hard spheroidal sheets, making quantitative predictions of the flow-induced orientation possible. Further comparison of the flow-induced orientation of thick gold decahedra with the thin graphene sheets shows that, except for effects of polydispersity, the flow-induced orientation is predicted well quantitatively. Adequate prediction of the effects of flow on the orientation of graphene sheets makes it possible to design wet processed graphene-based composite materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces