Two different azo molecules functionalized graphene oxide (GO) through an ester linkage have been synthesized for the first time. Chemical structure of the azo-GO hybrids was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and UV-visible spectroscopy. The GO functionalized with 5-((4-methoxyphenyl)azo)-salicylaldehyde was further characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The SEM studies demonstrated that the morphology of the azo-GO hybrid was found to be similar to the GO sheets but slightly more wrinkled. Further, TEM image of azo-GO indicates some dark spots on the GO sheets due to azo functionalization. AFM results also reveal that the azo functionalization increases the thickness of GO sheet to 4–5 nm from 1.2–1.8 nm. Both the azo-hybrids show absorption band around 379 nm due to the $π$–$π$* transition of the trans azo units. Photoluminescence spectra of azo-GO hybrids show a strong quenching compared with azo molecules due to the photoinduced electron or energy transfer from the azo chromophore to the GO sheets. It also reveals strong electronic interaction between azo and GO sheets.
R. DEVI, PRABHAVATHI, G., Dr. Yamuna R., Ramakrishnan, S., and KOTHURKAR, N. I. K. H. I. L. K., “Synthesis, characterization and photoluminescence properties of graphene oxide functionalized with azo molecules”, Journal of Chemical Sciences, vol. 126, pp. 75–83, 2014.