(a) Photograph of two NGAs (cylinder size: diameter 1.9 cm, length 1.2 cm) standing on a Calliandra haematocephala flower. (b) SEM image of the sample in (a). (c) Typical TEM image of the NGA. (d) HRTEM image of the NGA.
(a) Photograph of two NGAs (cylinder size: diameter 1.9 cm, length 1.2 cm) standing on a Calliandra haematocephala flower. (b) SEM image of the sample in (a). (c) Typical TEM image of the NGA. (d) HRTEM image of the NGA.

Inspired by marine mussel, an ultralight, three dimensional (3D), and nitrogen doped graphene aerogel (NGA) is developed by virtue of dopamine (DA). DA undergoes self-polymerization that can functionalize the graphene surface and also embeds nitrogen atoms onto the graphene sheets upon pyrolysis. The morphology and textural properties were investigated by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman spectrum. By adjusting the amount of graphene oxide and DA in the precursor mixture, NGA with a density as low as 1.9 mg cm−3 can be prepared. The resultant NGA is macroscopic-assembled, mechanically stable, and fire-resistant. It has very high adsorption capacity and efficient space utilization towards oil uptake, thereby prompting practical applications as a suction skimmer in marine oil spillage or chemical leakage recovery. The high conductivity and 3D interconnected porous structure of the NGA permit good performance as electrode material for electrochemical sensors.

This paper was originally published in Carbon 80 (2014) 174–182

To read more about this article, click here.

Log in to your free Materials Today account to download the full article.

Already a Materials Today member?

Log in to your Materials Today account to access this feature.