Anodic Electrophoretic Deposition of Graphene Oxide on 316L Stainless Steel with pH-Dependent Microstructures


This paper describes anodic electrophoretic deposition of graphene oxide (GO) on 316L SS with pH-dependent microstructures. GO flakes were synthesized by modified Hummers’ method. Detailed studies on structural characteristics, thermal stability, and elemental composition of the GO flakes were carried out using advanced characterization techniques. Results showed successful oxidation and exfoliation forming GO flakes that are hydrophilic in nature. Acidic (pH 3.4) and basic (pH 11) aqueous GO suspensions were prepared, and the zeta potential as well as the average particle size distribution of the suspensions was ascertained. The GO suspensions were exhibiting zeta potential values of −32.9 and −36.8 mV and average particle size of 1–2 µm and 800–900 nm at acidic pH of 3.4 and alkaline pH of 11, respectively. Using anodic electrophoretic deposition (EPD) methods, GO was coated on 316L SS substrate from acidic and alkaline suspension and coatings were characterized. The increased value of ID/IG by Raman spectra analysis, partial restoration of C = C skeleton in the de-convoluted C 1s XPS spectra analysis, and the presence of C–C and C–H stretching bands in ATR-FTIR spectra were correlated with partial reduction of GO during the deposition on 316L SS surface. Though there was no difference in the chemical composition of the coatings formed from the acidic and alkaline pH suspension, atomic force microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy characterization showed difference in topography and morphology of the coatings. 316L SS substrates coated with GO in acidic pH showed higher RMS and average roughness and dense agglomerated wrinkled microstructure compared to substrates coated with alkaline pH suspension. Again GO coating from acidic pH suspension showed hydrophobicity. The present study showed that the microstructures of the GO coatings on 316L SS can be tuned by varying the pH of the GO suspension during EPD process.

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The authors are grateful to Mr. A.S. Suneesh, MC & MFCG, for zeta potential measurements, Mr. Shailesh Joshi, RSD, for FTIR and elemental analysis, Dr. Ch. Jagadeeswara Rao, CSTD, for thermogravimetric analysis, and Dr. Vani Shankar, MMD, IGCAR for FESEM. Ms. Geetisubhra Jena also expresses her gratitude to DAE for providing fellowship to carry out this study.

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Correspondence to R. P. George.

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Jena, G., Vanithakumari, S.C., Thinaharan, C. et al. Anodic Electrophoretic Deposition of Graphene Oxide on 316L Stainless Steel with pH-Dependent Microstructures. J Bio Tribo Corros 4, 20 (2018).

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  • Graphene oxide
  • Electrophoretic deposition (EPD)
  • pH
  • Zeta potential
  • Microstructure
  • Contact angle