A tactic for the synthesis of Ni-modified graphene nanosheets (Ni-GNSs) as a high-performance reinforcement of a lead-free solder is proposed and achieved via an environmentally friendly and controllable pyrolysis method. The segmented pyrolysis processes of an Ni(CH3
hybrid are discussed. The morphology, microstructure, phase transition, and adsorption strength of nanoparticles on the surface of GNSs with various theoretical Ni loadings are characterized. The adsorption mechanism of a single Ni atom on the surface of perfect graphene and defective graphene was studied based on density functional theory. The corresponding underlying formation mechanisms of Ni-GNSs are analyzed. The results show that the grain size, distribution and phase composition of the nanoparticles on GNSs could be controlled by changing the theoretical Ni loading level. The morphology and dispersity of Ni nanoparticles on GNSs did not significantly change after long-time or high-power ultrasonic treatment, suggesting that the adsorption strength between Ni nanoparticles and GNSs was relatively large and belonged to chemical adsorption based on first-principle calculation. Ni atoms tend to adsorb in the center of the carbon six-membered ring. The obtained Ni-GNSs nanohybrid exhibited a small size, fewer defects, and higher crystallinity and adsorption strength when the theoretical Ni loading was 17 mol %. The results have potential applications in the design of the reinforced phase of composites.
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