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Preparation, Properties, and Applications of Graphene-Based Hydrogels

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      Abstract

      As a new carbon-based nanomaterial, graphene has exhibited unique advantages in significantly improving the combination properties of traditional polymer hydrogels. The specific properties of graphene, such as high electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity and excellent mechanical properties, have made graphene not only a gelator to self-assemble into the graphene-based hydrogels (GBH) with extraordinary electromechanical performance, but also a filler to blend with small molecules and macromolecules for the preparation of multifunctional GBH. It fully exploits the practical applications of traditional hydrogels. This review summarizes the preparation methods, properties, and the applications of GBH. Further developments and challenges of GBH are also prospected.

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      Most cited references 32

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      Graphene: Status and Prospects

      Graphene is a wonder material with many superlatives to its name. It is the thinnest material in the universe and the strongest ever measured. Its charge carriers exhibit giant intrinsic mobility, have the smallest effective mass (it is zero) and can travel micrometer-long distances without scattering at room temperature. Graphene can sustain current densities 6 orders higher than copper, shows record thermal conductivity and stiffness, is impermeable to gases and reconciles such conflicting qualities as brittleness and ductility. Electron transport in graphene is described by a Dirac-like equation, which allows the investigation of relativistic quantum phenomena in a bench-top experiment. What are other surprises that graphene keeps in store for us? This review analyses recent trends in graphene research and applications, and attempts to identify future directions in which the field is likely to develop.
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        Self-assembled graphene hydrogel via a one-step hydrothermal process.

        Self-assembly of two-dimensional graphene sheets is an important strategy for producing macroscopic graphene architectures for practical applications, such as thin films and layered paperlike materials. However, construction of graphene self-assembled macrostructures with three-dimensional networks has never been realized. In this paper, we prepared a self-assembled graphene hydrogel (SGH) via a convenient one-step hydrothermal method. The SGH is electrically conductive, mechanically strong, and thermally stable and exhibits a high specific capacitance. The high-performance SGH with inherent biocompatibility of carbon materials is attractive in the fields of biotechnology and electrochemistry, such as drug-delivery, tissue scaffolds, bionic nanocomposites, and supercapacitors.
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          Graphene oxide dispersions in organic solvents.

          The dispersion behavior of graphene oxide in different organic solvents has been investigated. As-prepared graphite oxide could be dispersed in N, N-dimethylformamide, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, tetrahydrofuran, and ethylene glycol. In all of these solvents, full exfoliation of the graphite oxide material into individual, single-layer graphene oxide sheets was achieved by sonication. The graphene oxide dispersions exhibited long-term stability and were made of sheets between a few hundred nanometers and a few micrometers large, similar to the case of graphene oxide dispersions in water. These results should facilitate the manipulation and processing of graphene-based materials for different applications.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1Joint Laboratory for Translational Cancer Research of Chinese Medicine of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, International Institute for Translational Chinese Medicine, University of Chinese Medicine , Guangzhou, China
            2School of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Nanjing Tech University , Nanjing, China
            3Science and Technology on Reactor Fuel and Materials Laboratory, Nuclear Power Institute of China , Chengdu, China
            4Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering of Ministry of Education, South China University of Technology , Guangzhou, China
            Author notes

            Edited by: Weifeng Zhao, Sichuan University, China

            Reviewed by: Chengbiao Yang, Wayne State University, United States; Shengqiang Nie, Guiyang University, China

            *Correspondence: Zhou Chen zchen6240@ 123456njtech.edu.cn

            This article was submitted to Polymer Chemistry, a section of the journal Frontiers in Chemistry

            Contributors
            Journal
            Front Chem
            Front Chem
            Front. Chem.
            Frontiers in Chemistry
            Frontiers Media S.A.
            2296-2646
            01 October 2018
            2018
            : 6
            6174303
            10.3389/fchem.2018.00450
            Copyright © 2018 Liao, Hu, Chen, Zhang, Wang and Kuang.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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            Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 32, Pages: 5, Words: 3252
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            Chemistry
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