Graphene Oxide

Graphene Oxide

Graphene Oxide is a 2 dimensional sheet of highly oxidized carbon atoms decorated with oxygen groups. It’s exfoliated from graphite with strong oxidizers. This chemical process expands the interlayer structure adding the oxygen containing functional groups.

The amount of surface groups makes the material water soluble.

Originally called graphite oxide, it’s easily dispersed in water, polymers, solvents, with sonication and then can be thermally or chemically reduced to graphene.

Graphene oxide becomes more conductive after reducing it to RGO by removing the surface functionality and restoring the graphene structure.


Molecular Structure

Graphene Oxide Products

We supply the high quality graphene oxide products below!

Single & Few Layer GO 

Variety of Platelet Sizes

High Oxygen Content & Freeze Dried to Preserve Solubility

Reduced GO (RGO)



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We recommend storing it in a lab refrigerator to preserve it’s functionality.

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Properties of Graphene Oxide

The properties of graphene oxide are unique because of it’s high surface area, functionality and 2D sheet-like structure. It typically has >40% oxygen groups, including OH, COOH, & Epoxide groups and is highly soluble in Di water, NMP, DMF, THF, Ethanol, and other polar solvents. GO can be reduced by a variety of methods to restore it’s two dimensional graphene structure and significantly improving it’s conductive and mechanical properties.

Graphene Oxide Synthesis

Originally called graphite oxide, Graphene oxide is synthesized by reacting graphite with strong oxidizers, typically potassium permanganate and sulphuric acid, and is rinsed and centrifuged until the rinse water filtrate is PH neutral. Then it’s freeze dried to preserve solubility.

The bulk product is a brownish/yellowish solid material that retains the layer structure of graphite but with a much larger and irregular spacing.

There are four common graphene oxide synthesis methods: Staudenmaier, Hofmann, Brodie and Hummers.  Variations of these methods exist, including the Tour method, a modified hummers method. It’s synthesis is constantly being studied and improved to provide a more consistent quality, reduce environmental concerns, and reduce costs.

The oxidation process is typically evaluated by the carbon/oxygen ratio, >40% is considered acceptable.

Graphene Oxide Applications


Graphene oxide has applications in catalysis, drug delivery, solar, battery, tissue scaffolding and many other areas. It’s high solubility and ability to be reduced enables solution processing, making it a desirable nanomaterial.  GO overcomes the well known dispersion problems associated with other  carbon nanotubes.

Graphene Oxide Structure

                              2D Sheet Like Structure

The 2D structure of Graphene oxide is shown above. The type and amount of functional groups present give GO it’s legendary solubility compared to other nanomaterials. Surfactants aren’t needed when dispersing into polar solvents such as Di Water, NMP, DMF, THF, DCB, Ethanol, polymers or others.

Graphene Oxide Chemical Formula

The chemical formula and molecular weight of Graphene Oxide is below.

Chemical Formula:C140H42O20
Molecular Weight:2043.856 g/mol

Reduced Graphene Oxide

         RGO’s structure at different process steps

RGO is synthesized as GO and then reduced. Reduction removes the surface functionality and restores the molecular structure to one closer to pristine graphene than GO.

Reduction is typically a chemical, thermal or electrochemical process. Other techniques are able to produce very high quality rGO, similar to pristine graphene, however it can be complex and time consuming to carry out.

Graphene Oxide Reduction Methods:

Treating with hydrazine hydrate and maintaining the solution at 100c for 24 hours

Exposing to hydrogen plasma

Exposing to a strong pulse light (photo sintering), such as xenon or UV

Heating in distilled water at varying degrees for different lengths of time

Heating to very high levels in a furnace

Directly heating in a microwave

Electrochemical methods

Heating to 400C in a forming gas atmosphere (95% argon, 5% hydrogen)

Chemical reduction is a highly scalable method but the surface area and electronic conductivity achieved typically isn’t high enough for many applications.

Heating GO to temperatures greater than 1000℃ creates RGO which has a very high surface area but the annealing process damages the structure when pressure builds up and carbon dioxide is released.The reduction process can reduce it’s mass by ~ 30% and improves its electronic properties.

Electrochemical reduction has been shown to produce very high quality RGO, almost identical in terms of structure to pristine graphene but can be slower than other methods.

RGO can be selectively functionalized, enhancing its compatibility with the solvent/matrix or to create new compounds when combining RGO with other two dimensional materials. It’s surface chemistry can be tailored for compatibility with the application.

Graphene Oxide Price

Graphene Oxide’s price is determined by production volumes and degree of purification. Most of  products are between $75-225/g but some variations cost $450/g.

Our products are washed and centrifuged 15 times until the filtrate is pH neutral. Then it’s freeze dried to preserve solubility and stored in a refrigerator. Not all suppliers take these steps.

This process costs more than processes used by companies that sell GO in solution with a low pH. The low pH is because they’ve reduced the washing and centrifuging cycles and its an acidic solution.

GO’s shelf life is about 6 months before functionality begins to decrease however it can still be used longer. We recommend storing it in a lab refridgerator.

Difference Between Graphene & Graphene Oxide

First we must establish what is graphene or graphite. It is generally accepted that 2D sheets that are less than 10 layers thick can be called graphene.  There are 3 main types of graphene: Graphene films which are typically made by CVD, ALD, or Epitaxial growth, Graphene Oxide which is exfoliated by reacting graphite in sulphuric acid with potassium permanganate in a highly exothermic reaction, & Graphene Nanoplatelets which can be plasma exfoliated or chemically exfoliated, ball milled, or thermally shocked and sheared to product stacks of graphene nanoplatelets.

How to chose between graphene and graphene oxide? It depends on your application. If you want electronic properties to make a sensor or device or improved mechanical properties, we recommend CVD graphene, or RGO. If you want good dispersion and solution processing, we recommend normal GO.

Graphene Oxide Paper

Graphene oxide paper is relatively easy to make with vacuum or pressure filtration.  GO’s known to disperse very easily due to the functional groups on its surface. To make GO paper, researchers typically disperse it in a solvent such as water or an organic solvent and then using a 0.2um membrane filter, they pour the solution through a filtration apparatus and the membrane keeps the particles on top while the solvent is collected below.  When dry, the membrane can be removed leaving a free standing membrane paper like product.

Graphene Oxide Safety Data Sheet

Please see our Graphene Oxide Safety Data Sheet (SDS) GHS Compliant.

Graphene Oxide Dispersions

Dispersions are available from Cheap Tubes Inc. Please let us know your requirements such as solvent and loading ratio.  Our standard concentration is 2mgs/ml but we can go up to 10mgs/ml.

Publications using GO from Cheap Tubes Inc

Below are some publications that used GO from Cheap Tubes Inc.

GO Membranes as ultrathin molecular sieves

Inkjet printed acrylic formulations using RGO

GO− Polyethylenimine Nanoconstruct as a Gene Delivery Vector and Bioimaging Tool

In situ Raman spectroelectrochemistry of GO

New RGO/Alumina (RGO/Al2O3) Nanocomposite: Innovative Method of Synthesis and Characterization

Scientists Create World’s Lightest 3D Printed Materials – Graphene Aerogel!

Scientists 3D print graphene-based inks for ultralight supercapacitors!

Elemental Analysis:

GO’s elemental analysis typically shows a higher oxygen content than carbon content with small amounts of hydrogen.

C: 35-42%

O: 45-55%

H: 3-5%

We can provide dispersions In Di Water, NMP, THF, or DMF. Hazmat shipping fees may apply.

XPS data

XPS data is for our SLGO 300-800nm product is below

XPS data

Films and Coatings

GO and RGO coatings are available with the specifications below.

  1. SLGO or SLRGO film on glass/wafer  (thickness 5-30 nm, area ~ 3-5 cm2, conductivity 10(4) – 10(5) Sm-1, sheet resistance 10(1)-10(3) Ω/sq)
  1. SLGO or SLRGO film on organic flexible substrate  (thickness 5-30 nm, area ~ 3-5 cm2, conductivity 10(3) – 10(4) Sm-1, sheet resistance 10(2)-10(4) Ω/sq)
Films and Coatings

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