Responsive materials based on magnetic polyelectrolytes and graphene oxide for water clean-up

Gavin D A Hazell, Miguel A Hinojosa Navarro, Rico F. Tabor, Thomas M. McCoy, Julian Eastoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
355 Downloads (Pure)


Hypothesis Owing to attractive interactions between negatively charged graphene oxide (GO) and a paramagnetic cationic polyelectrolyte (polyallydimethylammonium chloride with a FeCl4− counterion (Fe-polyDADMAC) it should be possible to generate magnetic materials. The benefit of using charge-based adsorption is that the need to form covalently linked magnetic materials is offset, which is expected to significantly reduce the time, energy and cost to make such responsive materials. These systems could have a wide use and application in water treatment. Experiments Non-covalent magnetic materials were formed through the mixing of Fe-pDADMAC and GO. A systematic study was conducted by varying polymer concentration at a fixed GO concentration. UV–Vis was used to confirm and quantify polymer adsorption onto GO sheets. The potential uses of the systems for water purification were demonstrated. Findings Fe-polyDADMAC adsorbs to the surface of GO and induces flocculation. Low concentrations of the polymer (<9 mmol/L) favour flocculation, whereas higher concentrations (>20 mmol/L) induce restabilization. Difficult-to-recover gold nanoparticles can be separated from suspensions as well as the pollutant antibiotic tetracycline. Both harmful materials can be magnetically recovered from the dispersions. This system therefore has economical and practical applications in decontamination and water treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Early online date14 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016


  • Graphene oxide
  • Magnetic nanomaterials
  • Adsorption
  • Magnetic polyelectrolyte
  • Water treatment


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