Crossing-link flammable graphene oxides into inflammable, versatile 3D-scaffolds and membranes

by Tian, Z. R.

Graphenes, known to be among the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials, hold some great potential in replacing traditional semiconductors and conductors in many important applications. As the low-cost intermediate for making pure graphene and graphene-derived materials, the graphene oxide made from graphite powder has an extremely high flammability that can seriously jeopardize the material's promise for large-scale manufacturing, storing, distributing, and even lab-handling. Here we report a low-cost scalable method for crosslinking the graphene-oxide flakes using high-charge metal cations into transparent membranes and 3D-macroporous scaffolds. Thus-made carbonaceous polymers are flexible, mech. strong, nontoxic, and not burning when in contact with an open flame. New results have suggested that other cross-linkers can turn the graphene oxide to show novel properties for applications in a wide range of fields such as electronics, fuel-cell, battery, sensors, thin-film coatings, drug delivery, stem-cell growth, to name a few. This new nanocompositing chem. can be generally applicable to crosslinking other 2D-nanosheets likewise.