Factors that Affect Pickering Emulsions Stabilized by Graphene Oxide

Stable Pickering emulsions were prepared using only graphene oxide (GO) as a stabilizer, and the effects of the type of oil, the sonication time, the GO concentration, the oil/water ratio, and the pH value on the stability, type, and morphology of these emulsions were investigated. In addition, the effects of salt and the extent of GO reduction on emulsion formation and stability were studied and discussed. The average droplet size decreased with sonication time and with GO concentration, and the emulsions tended to achieve good stability at intermediate oil/water ratios and at low pH values. In all solvents, the emulsions were of the oil-in-water type, but interestingly, some water-in-oil-in-water (w/o/w) multiple emulsion droplets were also observed with low GO concentrations, low pH values, high oil/water ratios, high salt concentrations, or moderately reduced GO in the benzyl chloride–water system. A Pickering emulsion stabilized by Ag/GO was also prepared, and its catalytic performance for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol was investigated. This research paves the way for the fabrication of graphene-based functional materials with novel nanostructures and microstructures.