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Open AccessArticle

Electrochemically Exfoliated Graphene-Like Nanosheets for Use in Ceramic Nanocomposites

1
Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla, ICMS (CSIC-US), Américo Vespucio 49, 41092 Sevilla, Spain
2
Departamento de Física de la Materia Condensada, ICMS, CSIC-Universidad de Sevilla, Apdo. 1065, 41080 Sevilla, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(11), 2656; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13112656
Received: 21 May 2020 / Revised: 2 June 2020 / Accepted: 4 June 2020 / Published: 11 June 2020
In this work, the synthesis of graphene-like nanosheets (GNS) by an electrochemical exfoliation method, their microstructural characterization and their performance as fillers in a ceramic matrix composite have been assessed. To fabricate the composites, 3 mol % yttria tetragonal zirconia (3YTZP) powders with 1 vol % GNS were processed by planetary ball milling in tert-butanol to enhance the GNS distribution throughout the matrix, and densified by spark plasma sintering (SPS). According to a thorough Raman analysis and SEM observations, the electrochemically exfoliated GNS possessed less than 10 graphene layers and a lateral size lower than 1 μm. However, they contained amorphous carbon and vacancy-like defects. In contrast the GNS in the sintered composite exhibited enhanced quality with a lower number of defects, and they were wavy, semi-transparent and with very low thickness. The obtained nanocomposite was fully dense with a homogeneous distribution of GNS into the matrix. The Vickers hardness of the nanocomposite showed similar values to those of a monolithic 3YTZP ceramic sintered in the same conditions, and to the reported ones for a 3YTZP composite with the same content of commercial graphene nanosheets. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene; electrochemical exfoliation method; 3YTZP; ceramic nanocomposites; planetary ball milling; SPS; Raman spectroscopy; electron microscopy; Vickers indentations graphene; electrochemical exfoliation method; 3YTZP; ceramic nanocomposites; planetary ball milling; SPS; Raman spectroscopy; electron microscopy; Vickers indentations
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Poyato, R.; Verdugo, R.; Muñoz-Ferreiro, C.; Gallardo-López, Á. Electrochemically Exfoliated Graphene-Like Nanosheets for Use in Ceramic Nanocomposites. Materials 2020, 13, 2656.

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