Exploiting the functionalization chemistry of graphene, long-range electrostatic and short-range covalent interactions were harnessed to produce multifunctional energetic materials through hierarchical self-assembly of nanoscale oxidizer and fuel into highly reactive macrostructures. Specifically, we report a methodology for directing the self-assembly of Al and Bi2O3 nanoparticles on functionalized graphene sheets (FGS) leading to the formation of nanocomposite structures in a colloidal suspension phase that ultimately condense into ultradense macrostructures. The mechanisms driving self-assembly were studied using a host of characterization techniques including zeta potential measurements, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), particle size analysis, micro-Raman spectroscopy, and electron microscopy. A remarkable enhancement in energy release from 739 ± 18 to 1421 ± 12 J/g was experimentally measured for the FGS self-assembled nanocomposites.
Dr. T. Rajagopalan, Chung, S. W., Basuray, S., Balasubramanian, B., Staley, C. S., Gangopadhyay, K., and Gangopadhyay, S., “A Versatile Self-Assembly Approach toward High Performance Nanoenergetic Composite Using Functionalized Graphene”, Langmuir, vol. 30, pp. 6556-6564, 2014.