Graphite oxide is synthesized via oxidation reaction using oxidant compounds that have lattice defects by the incorporation of unlike functional groups. Herein, we report the synthesis of the graphite oxide with diverse surface oxygen content through three (B, C, D) different modified versions of the Hummers method assisted microwave radiation compared with the conventional graphite oxide sample obtained by Hummers method (A). These methods allow not only the production of graphite oxide but also reduced graphene oxide, without undergoing chemical, thermal, or mechanical reduction steps. The values obtained of C/O ratio were ~2, 3.4, and ~8.5 for methodologies C, B, and D, respectively, indicating the presence of graphite oxide and reduced graphene oxide, according to X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy of method D shows the fewest structural defects compared to the other methodologies. The results obtained suggest that the permanganate ion produces reducing species during graphite oxidation. The generation of these species is attributed to a reversible reaction between the permanganate ion with π electrons, ions, and radicals produced after treatment with microwave radiation.
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