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Graphene-based polymer nanocomposites represent one of the most technologically promising developments to emerge from the interface of graphene-based materials and polymer materials. However, there are still many challenges that must be addressed for these nanocomposites to reach their full potential. For example, the sonication and thermal shock techniques commonly used to exfoliate GO also reduce the aspect ratio of the exfoliated platelets, which may negatively affect reinforcement as well as electrical and thermal properties. Results suggesting poor interfacial adhesion in graphene/polymer composites in the absence of covalent bonding or additional non-covalent binding interactions such as pep interactions or hydrogen bonding underscore the importance of the platelet surface chemistry in reinforcement and the need for continued progress in this direction. Moreover, the defects introduced into GeO platelets by either the oxidation to convert graphite to GO or the processing to generate GeO platelets, might ultimately limit the electrical conductivity and mechanical properties achievable with RGeO platelets relative to pristine and defect-free graphene platelets. Thus, methods of graphene platelet production which preserve its extended, conjugated structure may find favor for certain demanding applications of graphene-based composites. Further property improvements in graphene-based composites will be influenced by improved morphological control. Defects and wrinkles in platelets are likely to influence their reinforcing capabilities, and so exfoliation and/or dispersion techniques that promote a more elongated morphology could conceivably further improve mechanical properties of these composites. Also, increased control over alignment and spatial organization of graphene-based fillers could be beneficial to nearly all types of composite properties. Thermal annealing of graphene-based composites to randomize GNP and graphene-based platelets may benefit the composites electrical conductivity, whereas improved alignment of the platelets may improve reinforcement. A variety of techniques for alignment of CNTs in polymer composites have been reported, and some of these techniques may find use for graphene-based composites. While the end application of graphene-based composites may dictate their specific morphological characteristics, the use of top-down patterning or bottomupmesophase self-assembly approaches that have bettermorphological control could help to guide future studies of these systems, which may reveal new applications for these composites.


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