Inspired by marine mussel, an ultralight, three dimensional (3D), and nitrogen doped graphene aerogel (NGA) is developed by virtue of dopamine (DA). DA undergoes self-polymerization that can functionalize the graphene surface and also embeds nitrogen atoms onto the graphene sheets upon pyrolysis. The morphology and textural properties were investigated by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman spectrum. By adjusting the amount of graphene oxide and DA in the precursor mixture, NGA with a density as low as 1.9 mg cm-3 can be prepared. The resultant NGA is macroscopic-assembled, mechanically stable, and fire-resistant. It has very high adsorption capacity and efficient space utilization towards oil uptake, thereby prompting practical applications as a suction skimmer in marine oil spillage or chemical leakage recovery. The high conductivity and 3D interconnected porous structure of the NGA permit good performance as electrode material for electrochemical sensors.
Song, X., Lin, L., Rong, M., Wang, Y., Xie, Z., & Chen, X. (2014). Mussel-inspired, ultralight, multifunctional 3D nitrogen-doped graphene aerogel. Carbon, 80(1), 174–182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2014.08.054