Progress in Organic Coatings
Interfacial crosslinked controlled thickness graphene oxide thin-films through dip-assisted layer-by-layer assembly means


• The nature of interactions between GO and the selected crosslinkers was determined.

• Controlled-thickness crosslinked GO thin films were successfully fabricated.

• Fabrication operating conditions have been successfully used in film quality control.

• Different crosslinkers effectively entailed in film characteristics modification.

Dip-assisted layer-by-layer verified as a notable technique in thin film assembly.


The augmentation of research in graphene based thin films has been of great interest to various current industrial stakeholders. This is mainly due to the wide scope of films applications, ranging from nanoelectronics to separation membranes. Therefore, establishing a relation between graphene based thin film key characteristics and the fabrication operating conditions is of high significance. This study entails the successful fabrication of controlled-thickness crosslinked graphene oxide (GO) thin films on inexpensive silicon-based glass slide substrates. The method of film fabrication used is the dip-assisted layer-by-layer assembly, which has an added advantage of step-control of thin film thickness, good film uniformity and continuity. The thickness was primarily tuned through the use different sized crosslinkers; a covalent based sub-nanometer sized p-phenylenediamine and an electrostatic based polyethyleneimine on an interchangeable assembly with GO. Pre film fabrication, Fourier Transform Infra-Red and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy characterizations were carried out to determine the nature of interactions between GO and the crosslinkers. Post film fabrication, scanning electron microscopy, water contact angle measurements and profilometry analysis were undertaken for film continuity, hydrophilicity and thickness measurements respectively. A strong linear trend between film thickness of the differently crosslinked films and the number of bi-layers was established.


Thin film fabrication procedure

… A rotary dip-coater device (Nadetech Innovations, Spain) (ND-R 11/2, S/N: 522016) was used to fabricate the films on an automated interchangeable dipping basis between GO and the crosslinkers

Keywords: Graphene oxide; Layer-by-layer; Crosslinking; Thin film; Thickness