Graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) have important applications in the development of new electrode and photocatalyst architectures. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have now been employed as catalyst to generate OH• and oxidize RGO via hydroxyl radical attack. The oxidation of RGO is marked by pores and wrinkles within the 2-D network. Nanosecond laser flash photolysis was used in conjunction with competition kinetics to elucidate the oxidative mechanism and calculate rate constants for the AuNP-catalyzed and direct reaction between RGO and OH•. The results highlight the use of the AuNP-mediated oxidation reaction to tune the properties of RGO through the degree of oxidation and/or functional group selectivity in addition to the nanoporous and wrinkle facets. The ability of AuNPs to catalyze the photolytic decomposition of H2O2 as well as the hydroxyl radical-induced oxidation of RGO raises new issues concerning graphene stability in energy conversion and storage (photocatalysis, fuel cells, Li-ion batteries, etc.). Understanding RGO oxidation by free radicals will aid in maintaining the long-term stability of RGO-based functional composites where intimate contact with radical species is inevitable.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)