Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 1996–2005 | Cite as

Probing structural variations of graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide using methylene blue adsorption method

  • Buddini Nissanka
  • Nilwala Kottegoda
  • Dilushan R. JayasundaraEmail author
Chemical routes to materials


Recently, graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) have drawn significant attention in the development of gas sensors and nanocomposites. However, random distribution of oxygen functionalities in GO and rGO limits the use of these materials in the above application. In this study, methylene blue (MB) adsorption onto GO, synthesized under different oxidative conditions, and onto corresponding rGO was looked into in detail as both have high affinity towards MB. Our results show the amounts of MB adsorbed onto all GOs are the same irrespective of the time of oxidation. However, significant changes were observed in the amount of MB adsorbed on the corresponding rGOs that have been thermally reduced. Further, the FT-IR spectroscopic data show a blue shift for C=C stretching vibrations of MB adsorbed onto GO, whereas a red shift is observed for the bands assigned to stretching vibrations of C–N and CH3 bending upon adsorption on rGO. The above observations suggest complex structural geometry of GO and rGO, especially with respect to the spatial distribution of oxygen functionalities and their propagation during synthesis that influence MB adsorption, and its orientation. Thus, the information provided will be important in controllable synthesis of both GO and rGO with large surface area for the above applications as well as in applications such as water purification and photocatalysis.



This work was funded by the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, under the grant AP/3/2/2016/CG/29. The Techno Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, Instrument Center of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo, are gratefully acknowledged for their support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest financial or otherwise.

Supplementary material

10853_2019_4087_MOESM1_ESM.docx (986 kb)
UV–Visible spectrum of MB, Comparative XRD spectra of GO and rGO, FT-IR spectra of GOs with different oxidizing times and rGOs reduced at 250 °C, Example calculation for MB adsorption on GO-1, FT-IR spectra of MB adsorbed GOs and FT-IR spectra of MB adsorbed rGOs, TGA spectra of GO-12 (DOCX 986 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of ColomboColombo 3Sri Lanka
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Center for Advanced Materials ResearchUniversity of Sri JayewardenepuraNugegodaSri Lanka

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