Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 51, Issue 24, pp 10782–10792 | Cite as

Ultrasonic cavitation effects on the structure of graphene oxide in aqueous suspension

  • P. Pérez-Martínez
  • J. M. Galvan-Miyoshi
  • J. Ortiz-López
Original Paper


Ultrasonic treatments are a common procedure to exfoliate graphite oxide for the preparation of graphene oxide flakes in aqueous suspension. High-power ultrasonic instrumentation is capable to produce cavitation on the solution that may cause undesirable side effects on the structure and properties of graphene oxide flakes. In this work, we investigate the effects of cavitation on graphite oxide pH neutral aqueous suspensions by monitoring its structural and optical properties as a function of exposure time to ultrasonic cavitation (UC). From analysis of the evolution of these properties, we identify three stages in which both flake exfoliation and fragmentation evolve, including partial reduction caused by removal of oxygen moieties due to the harsh mechanical vibrations and thermal effects produced by UC. Photoluminescence emission red-shifts due to the appearance of low lying excited defect energy levels caused by long exposure to UC.


Graphene Oxide Cavitation Graphite Oxide Cavitation Bubble Sonication Time 



This research was funded by Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN) Secretaria de Investigacion y Posgrado through Projects Numbers 20130427, 20140184, and 20150364. We acknowledge partial financial support from FESE-COMEX Project “Investigacion para la Vinculacion 2014.″ We are grateful to Centro Nanociencias y MicroNanotecnologias-IPN for TEM and XRD analyses. PPM thanks Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia for support through a scholarship and PPG-COMEX, CIP for support through project I + D+I FESE-COMEX. JOL thanks EDI-IPN and COFAA-IPN for support through academic fellowships.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de FísicaInstituto Politécnico Nacional, ESFMMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación en Polímeros, PPG-COMEXTepexpanMexico

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