Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Extrinsic Wrinkling and Single Exfoliated Sheets of Graphene Oxide in Polymer Composites

Weir, Michael P.; Johnson, David W.; Boothroyd, Stephen C.; Savage, Rebecca C.; Thompson, Richard L.; Parnell, Steven R.; Parnell, Andrew J.; King, Stephen M.; Rogers, Sarah E.; Coleman, Karl S.; Clarke, Nigel

Extrinsic Wrinkling and Single Exfoliated Sheets of Graphene Oxide in Polymer Composites Thumbnail


Michael P. Weir

David W. Johnson

Stephen C. Boothroyd

Rebecca C. Savage

Steven R. Parnell

Andrew J. Parnell

Stephen M. King

Sarah E. Rogers

Nigel Clarke


We study the conformation of graphene oxide as the filler in nanocomposites of polystyrene and poly(methyl methacrylate) using inverse-space scattering techniques and atomic force microscopy. By subtracting the polymer scattering to estimate the scattering contribution from the graphene oxide, we discover surface fractal scattering that spans a range of more than two decades in reciprocal space, indicating that the graphene oxide within these materials is rough on a very wide range of length scales and implying extensive extrinsic wrinkling and folding. We discover that well-exfoliated, locally flat sheets of graphene oxide produce a crossover in the scattering at a length scale of 16 nm, which becomes dominated by the signature of mass fractal scattering from thin disks or sheets. We show that the local graphene oxide structure in these polymer–graphene oxide nanocomposites is identical to that of graphene oxide in a water solution studied on the same length scale. Our results confirm the presence of well-exfoliated sheets that are key to achieving high interfacial areas between polymers and high aspect ratio filler in nanocomposites.


Weir, M. P., Johnson, D. W., Boothroyd, S. C., Savage, R. C., Thompson, R. L., Parnell, S. R., …Clarke, N. (2016). Extrinsic Wrinkling and Single Exfoliated Sheets of Graphene Oxide in Polymer Composites. Chemistry of Materials, 28(6), 1698-1704.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 4, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 4, 2016
Publication Date Mar 22, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 21, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 4, 2017
Journal Chemistry of Materials
Print ISSN 0897-4756
Electronic ISSN 1520-5002
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 6
Pages 1698-1704


Accepted Journal Article (1.1 Mb)

Copyright Statement
ACS AuthorChoice - This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations