Effect of the GO reduction method on the dielectric properties, electrical conductivity and crystalline behavior of PEO/rGO nanocomposites

A. Malas, A. Bharati, O. Verkinderen, B. Goderis, P.F. Moldenaers, R.M. Cardinaels

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The effect of the reduction method to prepare reduced graphene oxide (rGO) on the melt linear viscoelastic properties, electrical conductivity, polymer matrix crystalline behavior and dielectric properties of PEO-rGO nanocomposites was investigated. Reduction was performed chemically with either sodium borohydride (NaBH4) or hydrazine monohydrate (N2H4·H2O) or both reduction agents consecutively as well as thermally at 1000 °C. The different reduction methods resulted in exfoliated rGO sheets with different types and amounts of remaining functional groups, as indicated by FT-IR, Raman, TGA and XRD characterization. Moreover, their electrical conductivity ranged between 10-4 and 10-1 S/cm, with the consecutive use of both chemical reduction agents being far superior. PEO nanocomposites with filler loadings of 0.5 wt %, 1 wt % and 2 wt % were prepared by solvent mixing. The rGO fillers affected the melt linear viscoelastic and crystalline behavior of the PEO matrix and resulted in nanocomposites with a substantially increased electrical conductivity. Despite the wide variability in filler conductivity, the effects on the polymer nanocomposite properties were less distinctive. A correlation was obtained between the reduction of the mobility of the polymer chains (evaluated by the glass transition temperature) and the dielectric strength of the interfacial polarisation originating from the effective entrapment of GO/rGO filler charges at the interface with the less conductive PEO. Thus, favorable interactions of the polar PEO with the filler led to reduced mobility of the PEO chains and thereby a more effective entrapment of the filler charges at the PEO interface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number613
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2017


  • Crystallization
  • Dielectric properties
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Polyethylene oxide (PEO)
  • Reduced graphene oxide (rGO)
  • Rheology


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