Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Keywords: graphene, graphene-polymer hybrids, membranes, supercapacitors, self-assembly
Summary:Research work on new nanostructured graphene-polymer hybrid coatings/membranes are presented to illustrate with two major example applications in energy and water-related applications (e.g., membrane separations of molecules/ions and high-performance supercapacitor electrodes). This work intends to develop the understanding to control the fundamental nanostructure of building-block graphene unit (i.e., stacked parallel graphene sheets of defined 2D dimension with precisely controlled interspacing by molecular spacers) as well as the architecture of the 3D graphene-polymer materials (i.e., the vertical orientation and connectivity of graphene units inside the polymer-bond hybrids). Several orders-of-magnitudes performance enhancements (e.g., in molecular water permeability and ion transport) could be realized due to the well control of nanostructure and architecture of the synthesized hybrid interfacial materials. Such hybrid materials are being also developed for other potential applications such as in batteries, desalination, and biofuel separations processing.