In-situ Exfoliation of Graphene Nanoplatelets Using Supercritical Fluid in Foaming Processing
The manufacturing of high-performance graphene/polymer nanocomposites relies on both the production of high-quality and low-cost graphene sheets and the fine dispersion of graphene in the nanocomposites. The commercial graphene materials in large quantity are typically GnPs with several to tens or even hundreds of graphene layers whose properties are inferior to monolayer graphene. In the previous work, it was demonstrated that SCF-assisted foaming of GnP/polymer nanocomposites can effectively exfoliate GnPs in situ. However, there is a lack of understanding on the exfoliation mechanism during this process. In this project, SCF-assisted exfoliation of GnPs will be comprehensively studied. A great effort will be made to achieve full exfoliation of GnPs to generate monolayer graphene sheets. The obtained knowledge will benefit the industrial partner in optimizing the GnP manufacturing process and also provide guidelines for designing SCF-assisted twin-screw extrusion processing of GnP/polymer nanocomposites.