Biomacromolecules, Vol.17, No.1, 256-261, 2016
Supramolecular Assembly of Biobased Graphene Oxide Quantum Dots Controls the Morphology of and Induces Mineralization on Poly(epsilon-caprolactone) Films
Biobased 2D graphene oxide quantum dots (GOQDs) were synthesized from waste paper via carbon nanosphere intermediates and evaluated as property-enhancing additives for poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL). The morphology of PCL films was controlled by supramolecular assembly of the small, 2D GOQDs in the polymer matrix. Phase behavior studies of PCL-GOQD in the solid state indicated concentration-dependent self-association of GOQD sheets, which was confirmed by SEM observations. Depending on the GOQD concentration, the formation of, e.g., spheres and stacked sheets was observed. GOQDs also induced mineralization on the surface of the films. A calcium phosphate (CaP) mineralization test revealed that the density of growing CaP crystals was controlled by the type of GOQD aggregates formed. Thus, utilization of the aggregation behavior of small GOQD sheets in polymeric matrices paves the way for tuning the morphology and properties of nanocomposites.