Rheology and microstructure of dilute graphene oxide suspension

Waka Tesfai, Pawan Singh, Youssef Shatilla, Muhammad Z. Iqbal, Ahmed A. Abdala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Graphene and graphene oxide are potential candidates as nanofluids for thermal management applications. Here, we investigate the rheological properties and intrinsic viscosity of aqueous suspension of graphene and use the measured intrinsic viscosity to determine the aspect ratio of graphene oxide. Dilute suspension of graphene oxide (0.05 to 0.5 mg/mL) exhibits a shear thinning behavior at low shear rates followed by a shear-independent region that starts at shear rate between 5 and 100/s depending on the concentration. This shear thinning behavior becomes more pronounced with the increase of particle loading. Moreover, AFM imaging of the dried graphene oxide indicates the evolution of irregular and thin low fractal aggregates of 0.3-1.8 nm thickness at lower concentrations to oblate compact structures of 1-18 nm thickness of nanosheets at higher concentration. These observations elucidate the microstructure growth mechanisms of graphene oxide in multiphase systems, which are important for nanofluids applications and for dispersing graphene and graphene oxide in composite materials. The suspension has a very high intrinsic viscosity of 1661 due to the high graphene oxide aspect ratio. Based on this intrinsic viscosity, we predict graphene oxide aspect ratio of 2445. While the classical Einstein and Batchelor models underestimate the relative viscosity of graphene oxide suspension, Krieger-Dougherty prediction is in a good agreement with the experimental measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1989
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspect ratio
  • Graphene oxide
  • Intrinsic viscosity
  • Nanofluids
  • Rheology
  • Suspension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Chemistry
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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