Water Sorption and Diffusion in (Reduced) Graphene Oxide-Alginate Biopolymer Nanocomposites

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The water sorption and diffusion in (reduced) graphene oxide-alginate composites of various compositions is analyzed. Water sorption of sodium alginate can be significantly reduced by the inclusion of graphene oxide sheets due to the formation of an extensive hydrogen bonding network between oxygenated groups. Crosslinking alginate with divalent metal ions and the presence of reduced graphene oxide can further improve the swelling resistance due to the strong interactions between metal ions, alginate, and filler sheets. Depending on conditions and composition, the overall water barrier properties of alginate composites improve upon (reduced) graphene oxide filling, making them attractive for moisture barrier coating applications. Water sorption kinetics in all alginate composites indicate a non-Fickian diffusion process that can be accurately described by the Variable Surface Concentration model. In addition, the water barrier properties of sodium alginate-graphene oxide composites can be adequately predicted using a simple model that takes the orientational order of filler sheets and their effective aspect ratio into account. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1063
Number of pages15
JournalMacromolecular Materials and Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • alginates
  • composites
  • crosslinking
  • graphene oxide
  • water diffusion

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