Oxygen functionalities on graphite nanofibers


Riffard Jean-Gilles, riffard.jeangilles@villanova.edu, Susan D. Thai, Christopher Kendrex, Carol A. Bessel, carol.bessel@villanova.edu, and Walter J. Boyko, walter.boyko@villanova.edu. Department of Chemistry, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, PA 19085
The functionalization of nanostructured carbon materials used as catalyst supports or in biomedical applications often requires the oxidation of edge and surface sites. We will discuss the effect of chemical oxidation agents such as strong oxidizing acids (e.g., concentrated nitric acid), permanganate, and ammonium persulfate on platelet-, herringbone-, and ribbon-structured graphite nanofibers. Carbon oxidation methods are known to result in a variety of surface structures including alcohols, quinones and non-acidic groups with one oxygen, carboxylic acids, lactones and neutral groups containing two oxygen atoms. The number and kind of oxygen-containing surface moieties have been determined using selective neutralization, solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and thermal analysis. These will be discussed in relation to the structure of supported metal particles for catalytic applications related to direct methanol fuel cells.