Utilizing a reverse micelle process, we have grafted polyacrylate (P) on graphene oxide (GO) to realize polyacrylate grafted graphene oxide (P-GO) nanocomposites, upon whose subsequent reduction, polyacrylate grafted reduced graphene oxide (P-rGO) nanocomposites are achieved. Using techniques such as ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and x-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, in conjunction with high-resolution microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and superconducting quantum interference device analysis, we have studied in depth the electronic, microstructural, electrical, and magnetic properties of these P-GO and P-rGO nanocomposites. While polyacrylate grafting ensures a high solubility of P-GO and P-rGO, the P-rGO nanocomposites additionally show a near doubling of the paramagnetic response (9.6 × 10 -3 emu/g) as compared to the r-GO (5.6 × 10 -3 emu/g) and P-GO (5.5 × 10 -3 emu/g), respectively, at 2 K. The grafting of diamagnetic polyacrylate enhances the magnetic response for the P-GO and P-rGO owing to the increase in the defect states, sp 3-type bonding, and enhanced magnetic coupling between the magnetic moments arising due to the presence of nitrogen functionalities. This behavior is further corroborated via the measurements of the electronic structure by XANES and UPS measurements. Thus, the possibility of manipulation of the magnetic behavior along with the abundance of surface functional groups makes both P-GO and P-rGO nanocomposites highly conducive for deriving water-soluble functionalized graphene by linking affinity molecules with polyacrylate backbone for biological and biomedical applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
N.S. and S.C.R. gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from the National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa (Grant Nos. ECR180426324617 and EQP13091742446). The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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