This week I functionalized reduced graphene oxide (rGO) with iron nanoparticles. I used water and ethanol to clean the functionalized rGO and then I dried the sample with the rotary evaporator. A graduate student ran IR, TGA, and BET for this sample as well as two others. I gave Jose the samples early in the week, but I have not heard back from him (and there is always a high demand for characterization tests). Although I have already made GO with two approaches, we are trying another synthesis procedure, which is a slight modification of the original procedure. I have about a liter of GO in solvent that needs to be dried, but this will take quite some time.
I have continued to help Luz, another NEWT student. I prepared two different zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs): ZIF-9 and ZIF-11. Each of the ZIFs has to be heated in an oven for a couple days at specified conditions for crystal formation. Next week, I will be able to collect and isolate the crystals. Luz’s project is similar to mine, but graphene oxide will be functionalized with ZIFs and APTES in addition to the magnetic nanoparticles. The idea is to take advantage of ZIF’s porous properties and ability to adsorb contaminants. For the last week, I will continue to work on my project and summarize key findings. I plan to finish strong and wish the best to my fellow NEWT interns as well.