Wet-Chemical Assembly of 2D Nanomaterials into Lightweight, Microtube-Shaped, and Macroscopic 3D Networks

Despite tremendous efforts toward fabrication of three-dimensional macrostructures of two-dimensional (2D) materials, the existing approaches still lack sufficient control over microscopic (morphology, porosity, pore size) and macroscopic (shape, size) properties of the resulting structures. In this work, a facile fabrication method for the wet-chemical assembly of carbon 2D nanomaterials into macroscopic networks of interconnected, hollow microtubes is introduced. As demonstrated for electrochemically exfoliated graphene, graphene oxide, and reduced graphene oxide, the approach allows for the preparation of highly porous (> 99.9%) and lightweight (<2 mg cm-3) aeromaterials with tailored porosity and pore size as well as tailorable shape and size. The unique tubelike morphology with high aspect ratio enables ultralow-percolation-threshold graphene composites (0.03 S m-1, 0.05 vol%) which even outperform most of the carbon nanotube-based composites, as well as highly conductive aeronetworks (8 S m-1, 4 mg cm-3). On top of that, long-term compression cycling of the aeronetworks demonstrates remarkable mechanical stability over 10 000 cycles, even though no chemical cross-linking is employed. The developed strategy could pave the way for fabrication of various macrostructures of 2D nanomaterials with defined shape, size, as well as micro- and nanostructure, crucial for numerous applications such as batteries, supercapacitors, and filters.


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