Development of Graphene-based materials for engineering applications: Acoustic Absorbers and Supercapacitors
: (Alternative Format Thesis)

  • Mario Rapisarda

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Graphene Oxide (GO) is one of the main candidates for the industrial production of graphene-derived materials. Thanks to the oxygen functional groups introduced during its synthesis from Graphite, it is readily processable in polar solvents (among which water stands out for its abundancy and eco-friendliness), while maintaining some of the characteristics attributed to the peculiar hexagonal structure of pristine Graphene. A deep understanding of the chemicophysical properties of graphene-derived materials, and the way those are influenced by the various steps of their fabrication process, is therefore the key to fully exploit such materials in advanced engineering applications. The initial part of this thesis is therefore focused on the background of GO derived materials, from processing methods to characterisation techniques. Two different applications are then approached: light and compact porous absorbers and supercapacitors with active binder. In both the cases GO allows the development of environmentally friendly and scalable fabrication processes, matching with the current transition toward a greener more sustainable industry. More specifically, an ultralight aerogel obtained from a blend of GO and polyvinyl alcohol is proposed as a novel class of acoustic materials with tuneable and broadband sound absorption and sound transmission losses. The same material is then chemically modified to develop multifunctional properties, satisfying the advanced requirements of automotive and aerospace industries. On the other hand, this research work shows also how GO can actively contribute to the electrochemical performance of supercapacitors: as a stand-alone active binder in a first instance and then in a hybrid gel with Starch, a biopolymer processable in water, for a fabrication procedure immediately transferrable to the industry. Additionally, both the approaches share the adoption of a conductive carbon paper derived from the thermal treatment of GO as current collector, for the fabrication of “all-graphene based” devices.
Date of Award12 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMichele Meo (Supervisor) & Frank Marken (Supervisor)


  • graphene
  • supercapacitor
  • sound absorption
  • environmentally friendly
  • aerogel

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