Pressure-induced insertion of liquid alcohols into graphite oxide structure

J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Dec 30;131(51):18445-9. doi: 10.1021/ja907492s.


Graphite oxide (GO) immersed in an excess of methanol and ethanol media is found to undergo a phase transformation at about 0.2-0.8 GPa, with an expansion of the unit cell volume by approximately 40%, due to pressure-induced insertion of solvent into interlayer space. The pressure at which the structural expansion occurs does not correlate with the solidification pressure of the alcohol, in contrast to the graphite oxide/water system. The expanded high-pressure phase of GO/ethanol could be quenched back to ambient pressure. Compression of graphite oxide with a 2:1 water/methanol medium revealed a complex anomaly with two steps attributed to insertion of methanol and water at different pressure points.