Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 9, pp 6586–6601 | Cite as

Ultrasound-assisted one-pot syntheses of ZnO nanoparticles that are homogeneously adsorbed on exfoliated graphite and a simplified method to determine the graphite layer thickness in such composites

  • Olga Isakin
  • Stephanie Hiltl
  • Ralph Schneider
  • Jasmin Bleisteiner
  • Oliver Struck
  • Kerstin Schindler
  • Monika Willert-Porada
  • Ralf Moos


The combination of zinc oxide (ZnO) and graphite provides a promising approach for technological applications, particularly in the field of gas sensors, as anode material for lithium-ion batteries and also as photocatalyst. Versatile strategies exist to combine ZnO and graphite. Here, we report on two novel, facile, and environmentally friendly one-pot synthesis routes yielding highly dispersed spherical ZnO nanoparticles with an average particle diameter of about 5 nm supported by exfoliated graphite sheets. For both preparation methods, the ultrasound-assisted synthesis does not result only in high yield but also in the opportunity for industrial scale-up. The composites are produced via a facile synthesis process and provide also a higher ZnO content and a higher surface coverage than other composites as previously reported by this group. Furthermore, we introduce a convenient simplified method to monitor and to determine the ultrasound-assisted exfoliation of graphite and its layer thickness, by taking only four parameters into account—namely the density of the substrate, the specific surface area of the initial and of the exfoliated substrate, and the concentration of the adsorbed particles. By applying tailored parameters, the here-derived equation can be applied for various composites including adsorbed particles on the substrate.



The authors would like to thank Michael Ringl for ICP-OES, Bianca Bauer for BET, Dominik Doleschal for TGA, Heike Scharg for FT-IR, and Margrit Fuchs for XRD measurements.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors and the institutes where the work has been carried out declare that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this article.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_2023_MOESM1_ESM.docx (718 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 718 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ECKART GmbH, A member of ALTANAHartensteinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Materials ProcessingZentrum für Energietechnik (ZET), University of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  3. 3.Lohmann GmbH & Co.KGNeuwiedGermany
  4. 4.Department of Functional Materials, Zentrum für Energietechnik (ZET)University of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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