Simultaneous Reduction and Polymerization of Graphene Oxide/Styrene Mixtures to Create Polymer Nanocomposites with Tunable Dielectric Constants

Dandan Hou, Joshua E. Bostwick, Jeffrey R. Shallenberger, Everett S. Zofchak, Ralph H. Colby, Qinfu Liu, Robert J. Hickey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Polymer nanocomposites containing carbon nanomaterials such as carbon black, carbon nanotubes, and graphene exhibit exceptional mechanical, thermal, electrical, and gas-barrier properties. Although the materials property benefits are well established, controlling the dispersion of carbon nanomaterials in polymer matrixes during processing is still a difficult task using current methods. Here, we report a simple, yet versatile method to simultaneously achieve the reduction of graphene oxide (GO) and polymerization of styrene to create reduced graphene oxide/poly(styrene) (RGO/PS) nanocomposite materials via microwave heating. The RGO/PS mixture is then processed into films of desired thicknesses by first removing unreacted styrene and then pressing the powder at elevated temperatures. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy proved that microwave processing was able to reduce GO, which resulted in a change in the carbon-to-oxygen ratio from 2.0 for GO to 4.5 for RGO. Furthermore, the addition of GO to the RGO/PS nanocomposites leads to an increase in the static dielectric constant (ϵs) relative to that of pure PS, with a minimal change in tan δ(∼0.06% at room temperature). The simultaneous microwave reduction/polymerization method described here will potentially lead to the production of polymer-based dielectric nanocomposite materials with tunable dielectric constants for energy-storage applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-968
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 28 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this