- 1 Mechanical Engineering Department, École de Technologie Supérieure, 1100 Notre-Dame St W, Montreal, QC H3C 1K32 NanoXplore Inc., 4500 Thimens Boulevard, Saint-Laurent, QC H4R 2P2*Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene-Based Nanocomposites and Manufacturing)
Abstract: Graphene, the newest member of the carbon’s family, has proven its efficiency in improving polymers’ resistance against photodegradation, even at low loadings equal to 1 wt% or lower. This protective role involves a multitude of complementary mechanisms associated with graphene’s unique geometry and chemistry. In this review, these mechanisms, taking place during both the initiation and propagation steps of photodegradation, are discussed concerning graphene and graphene derivatives, i.e., graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO). In particular, graphene displays important UV absorption, free radical scavenging, and quenching capabilities thanks to the abundant π-bonds and sp2 carbon sites in its hexagonal lattice structure. The free radical scavenging effect is also partially linked with functional hydroxyl groups on the surface. However, the sp2 sites remain the predominant player, which makes graphene’s antioxidant effect potentially stronger than rGO and GO. Besides, UV screening and oxygen barriers are active protective mechanisms attributed to graphene’s high surface area and 2D geometry. Moreover, the way that graphene, as a nucleating agent, can improve the photostability of polymers, have been explored as well. These include the potential effect of graphene on increasing polymer’s glass transition temperature and crystallinity.