Reversible Cluster Aggregation and Growth Model for Graphene Suspensions


Alifierakis, M. ; Sallah, K. S. ; Aksay, I. A. ; Prevost, J. H. Reversible Cluster Aggregation and Growth Model for Graphene Suspensions. AIChE Journal 2017, 63, 5462-5473.

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We present a reversible cluster aggregation model for 2-D macromolecules represented by line segments in 2-D; and, we use it to describe the aggregation process of functionalized graphene particles in an aqueous SDS surfactant solution. The model produces clusters with similar sizes and structures as a function of SDS concentration in agreement with experiments and predicts the existence of a critical surfactant concentration (C-crit) beyond which thermodynamically stable graphene suspensions form. Around C-crit, particles form dense clusters rapidly and sediment. At C << C-crit, a contiguous ramified network of graphene gel forms which also densifies, but at a slower rate, and sediments with time. The deaggregation-reaggregation mechanism of our model captures the restructuring of the large aggregates towards a graphite-like structure for the low SDS concentrations. (C) 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers

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Aiche J.Aiche J.