Macroporous polymer nanocomposites synthesised from high internal phase emulsion templates stabilised by reduced graphene oxide

Ling L.Ching Wong, Suelen Barg, Angelika Menner, Paula Do Vale Pereira, Goki Eda, Manish Chowalla, Eduardo Saiz, Alexander Bismarck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is known to be electrically conductive and adsorb at oil-water interfaces. It has also been shown to mechanically reinforce bulk materials. This work combines these favourable characteristics of two-dimensional rGO to develop 3D macroporous polymer nanocomposites via emulsion templating. rGO proved to be an efficient emulsifier as only 0.2 mg/ml (with respect to the oil phase) of rGO was required to stabilise water-in-oil high internal phase emulsions (HIPE) of up to 80 vol.% internal phase. After polymerisation of the continuous minority monomer (styrene and divinylbenzene) phase, macroporous polymer nanocomposites with tuneable microstructures were obtained. The storage modulus of rGO-poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) HIPEs increased by almost an order of magnitude when the rGO concentration used to stabilise the HIPE template increased from 0.4 to 5.0 mg/ml. The adsorption and organisation of rGO at the o/w interface in HIPEs prior to polymerisation and partial aggregation in the polymer cell walls after polymerisation resulted in conductive nanocomposites with a rGO content of as low as 0.006 vol.% (with respect to bulk polymer volume or 0.8 mg/ml with respect to the monomer volume used in the emulsion template) compared to 0.1 vol.% for dense nanocomposites previously reported. This provided evidence for the efficient arrangement of rGO within the macroporous polymer nanocomposite, creating an electrically conductive network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-402
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2014


  • Chemically modified graphene
  • Macroporous polymers
  • Nanocomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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