Stiffening of graphene oxide films by soft porous sheets

Lily Mao, Hun Park, Rafael A. Soler-Crespo, Horacio D. Espinosa, Tae Hee Han, Son Binh T. Nguyen*, Jiaxing Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Graphene oxide (GO) sheets have been used as a model system to study how the mechanical properties of two-dimensional building blocks scale to their bulk form, such as paper-like, lamellar-structured thin films. Here, we report that the modulus of multilayer GO films can be significantly enhanced if some of the sheets are drastically weakened by introducing in-plane porosity. Nanometer-sized pores are introduced in GO sheets by chemical etching. Membrane-deflection measurements at the single-layer level show that the sheets are drastically weakened as the in-plane porosity increases. However, the mechanical properties of the corresponding multilayer films are much less sensitive to porosity. Surprisingly, the co-assembly of pristine and etched GO sheets yields even stiffer films than those made from pristine sheets alone. This is attributed to the more compliant nature of the soft porous sheets, which act as a binder to improve interlayer packing and load transfer in the multilayer films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3677
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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