A study of the local structure of graphene oxide is presented. Graphene oxide is understood to be partially oxidized graphene. Absorption peaks corresponding to interlayer states suggest the presence of pristine graphitic nanoislands in graphene oxide. Site-projected partial density of states of carbon atoms bonded to oxygen atoms suggests that the broadening of the peak due to interlayer states in the carbon K-edge spectrum of graphene oxide is predominantly due to formation of epoxide linkages. Density functional theory suggests that multilayers of graphene oxide are linked by peroxide-like linkages.
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