Synthesis of hydrophobic carbon nanotubes/reduced graphene oxide composite films by flash light irradiation
Carbon nanotubes/graphene composites have superior mechanical, electrical and electrochemistry properties with carbon nanotubes as a hydrophobicity boosting agent. Their extraordinary hydrophobic performance is highly suitable for electrode applications in lithium ion batteries and supercapacitors which often employ organic electrolytes. Also the hydrophobic features enable the oil enrichment for the crude oil separation from seawater. The ever reported synthesis routes towards such a composite either involve complicated multi-step reactions, e.g., chemical vapor depositions, or lead to insufficient extrusion of carbon nanotubes in the chemical reductions of graphene oxide, e.g., fully embedding between the compact graphene oxide sheets. As a consequence, the formation of standalone carbon nanotubes over graphene sheets remains of high interests. Herein we use the facile flash light irradiation method to induce the reduction of graphene oxides in the presence of carbon nanotubes. Photographs, micrographs, X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis all indicate that graphene oxides has been reduced. And the contact angle tests confirm the excellent hydrophobic performances of the synthesized carbon nanotube/reduced graphene oxide composite films. This one-step treatment represents a straightforward and high efficiency way for the reduction of carbon nanotubes/graphene oxides composites.