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Current status in graphene based polymer nanocomposites – a review

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Andre K. Geim and Konstantin S. Novoselov of the University of Manchester, UK were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their ability to isolate graphene from graphite.  Graphene is a single atomic layer of carbon.  Professor Andre Geim commented, “Graphene is a wonder material with many superlatives to its name”.  Questions arise: Why graphene is a wonder material?  How come such an interest in graphene research world-wide?  Is this simply graphene hype or are there application opportunities for graphene-based composite structures?

If you are curious and want to know the answers to above questions, you may wish to read the review just appeared in the January 2011 issue of Plastics Engineering. This review described different routes to synthesizing both defect-free graphene and functionalized graphene.  How graphenes could be used as reinforcing nano materials to make polymer nanocomposites are explained. The article also presented emerging trends in graphene-based polymer nanocomposites (GPNC) while giving a glimpse of numerous possibilities that await GPNC researchers.  The main challenge on the effective use of graphene nanoplatelets for graphene based polymer nanocomposites depend on how to produce a large volume of graphene safely and of course, cost-effectively.

[Refercence:  P. Mukhopadhyay and R.K. Gupta; “Trends and Frontiers in Graphene-based Polymer Nanocomposites”, Plastics Engineeering, pp. 32-42, (2011)]


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