L.B. Zhang, G.Y. Chen, M.N. Hedhili, H. Zhang, P. Wang
Nanoscale, 4, no. 22, 7038-7045, (2012)
In this study, three-dimensional (3D) graphene assemblies are prepared from graphene oxide (GO) by a facile in situ reduction-assembly method, using a novel, low-cost, and environment-friendly reducing medium which is a combination of oxalic acid (OA) and sodium iodide (NaI). It is demonstrated that the combination of a reducing acid, OA, and NaI is indispensable for effective reduction of GO in the current study and this unique combination (1) allows for tunable control over the volume of the thus-prepared graphene assemblies and (2) enables 3D graphene assemblies to be prepared from the GO suspension with a wide range of concentrations (0.1 to 4.5 mg mL−1). To the best of our knowledge, the GO concentration of 0.1 mg mL−1 is the lowest GO concentration ever reported for preparation of 3D graphene assemblies. The thus-prepared 3D graphene assemblies exhibit low density, highly porous structures, and electrically conducting properties. As a proof of concept, we show that by infiltrating a responsive polymer of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) into the as-resulted 3D conducting network of graphene, a conducting composite is obtained, which can be used as a sensing device for differentiating organic solvents with different polarity.