Transfer of Graphene CVD to Surface of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) Films: Effect on Biodegradation Process
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Here, the influence of graphene as a coating on the biodegradation process for two different polymers is investigated, poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) (biodegradable) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) (non-biodegradable). Chemical vapor deposition graphene was transferred to the surface of two types of polymers using the Direct Dry Transfer technique. Polymer films, coated and uncoated with graphene, were buried in a maturated soil for up to 180 days. The films were analyzed before and after exposure to microorganisms in order to obtain information about the integrity of the graphene (Raman Spectroscopy), the biodegradation mechanism of the polymer (molecular weight and loss of weight), and surface changes of the films (atomic force microscopy and contact angle). The results prove that the graphene coating acted as a material to control the biodegradation process the PBAT underwent, while the LDPE covered by graphene only had changes in the surface properties of the film due to the accumulation of solid particles. Polymer films coated with graphene may allow the production of a material that can control the microbiological degradation, opening new possibilities in biodegradable polymer packaging. Regarding the possibility of graphene functionalization, the coating can also be selective for specific microorganisms attached to the surface.
KeywordsPoly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) Low-density polyethylene CVD graphene Biodegradation
We acknowledge funding from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), grants 2012/50259-8 and 2014/22840-3. This work was also partially funded by Fundo Mackenzie de Pesquisa (MackPesquisa), grant 068/2014. Pablo A. R. Muñoz are supported by a fellowship from FAPESP (2015/16591-3).
All authors reviewed, revised, commented on and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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