Polymer-graphene oxide quadlayer thin film assemblies with improved gas barrier

Layer-by-layer assembly was used to create quadlayers (QLs) of chitosan (CH), poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), CH, and graphene oxide (GO). Electron microscopy confirmed GO coverage over the film and a highly ordered nanobrick wall structure. By varying pH deviation between CH and PAA, a thick and interdiffused polymer matrix was created because of the altered chain conformation. A 5 CH (pH 5.5)/PAA (pH 3)/CH (pH 5.5)/GO QL assembly (48 nm) exhibits very low oxygen permeability (3.9 × 10–20 cm3 cm cm–2 Pa–1 s–1) that matches SiOxbarrier coatings. In an effort to maintain barrier performance under high humidity, GO was thermally reduced to increase hydrophobicity of the film. This reduction step increased H2/CO2 selectivity of a 5 QL film from 5 to 215, exceeding Robeson’s upper bound limit. This unique water-based multilayer nanocoating is very promising for a variety of gas purification and packaging applications.

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Tzeng, P; Stevens, B; Devlaming, I; Grunlan, JC;  Langmuir 2015, 31, 5919.
Published in Langmuir 2015