Water-dispersible graphene was prepared by reacting graphite oxide and 6-amino-4-hydroxy-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid (ANS). X-ray diffraction study showed that the basal reflection (002) peak of graphite oxide was absent in the ANS-functionalized graphene (ANS-G), indicating crystal layer delamination. Ultraviolet-visible spectral data were recorded to assess the solubility of the ANS-G in water. Fourier transform infrared spectral analysis suggested the attachment of ANS molecules to the surface of graphene. Raman and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that oxygen functionality in the graphite oxide had been removed during reduction. Atomic force microscopy found that the thickness of ANS-G in water was about 1.8 nm, much higher than that of single layer graphene. Thermal stability measurements also indicated successful removal of oxygen functionality from the graphite oxide and the attachment of thermally unstable ANS to the graphene surfaces. The electrical conductivity of ANS-G, determined by a four-point probe, was 145 S m(-1) at room temperature.
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