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Graphene-based Functional Soft Materials

Professor Dan Li

Department of Materials Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne

3:30 pm Wednesday, 18 September 2013, EN515 Lecture Theatre (EN Building), Hawthorn.


From a chemistry point of view, graphene is a giant conductive macromolecule. As with other polymers, its chemistry, molecular configuration and assembly structure all affect its properties. It is thus of great importance to engineer graphene-based materials at different length scales ranging from atomic, individual sheet-level to three-dimensional bulk assembly. Our group has been developing cost-effective colloidal strategies to engineer graphene since 2006. We have been particularly keen to study the unique physical and chemical properties of solvated graphene in the past years. We discovered that solvation of chemically converted graphene not only enables its solution processability, but more importantly, offers new unique avenues to tailor its structure and functionalities. In particular, solvation can activate various colloidal forces, allowing graphene sheets to interface with each other and other functional nanomaterials in ways that are impossible for dried materials. This has enabled us to successfully develop a series of functional soft materials based on solvated graphene to address long-standing challenges in energy storage, nanofluidics, nanoplasmonics and catalysis.


  1. Yang, X., Cheng, C., Wang, Y. Qiu, L. & Li, D., Science, 341, 534-537 (2013).
  2. Qiu, L., Liu, Z., Chang, S., Wu, Y. & Li, D. Nature Commu., 3, 1241 (2012).
  3. Cheng. C. & Li, D. 25, 13-30 (2013).
  4. Yang, X. W., Zhu, J. W., Qiu, L. & Li, D. Adv. Mater. 23, 2833 (2011).
  5. Yang, X., Qiu, L., Cheng, C., Wu, Y., Ma, Z.-F. & Li, D. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 7325-7328 (2011).
  6. Bei, F. L., Hou, X. L., Chang, S., Simon, G. G. & Li, D. Chem. Eur. J.  17, 5958-5964 (2011).
  7. Qiu, L., Zhang, X. H., Yang, W. R., Wang, Y. F., Simon, G. P. & Li, D. Chem. Commun. 47, 5810-5812 (2011).
  8. Li, D. Muller, M. B., Gilje, S., Kaner, R. B. & Wallace, G. G. Nature Nanotechnol. 3, 101-105 (2008).
  9. Li,D., Kaner, R. B. Science 320, 1170-1171 (2008).
  10. Chen, H., Muller, M. B., Gilmore, K. J., Wallace, G. G. & Li, D. Adv. Mater. 20, 3557-12 (2008).


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