Developing Chitosan-Morphed Graphene Composite Based Functional Materials by Compression Molding and Laser Lithography



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Chitosan could be chemically and enzymatically processed from Chitin that is widely present in crustaceans, mollusks, insects, and fungus. It has outstanding biodegradability, biocompatibility, nontoxicity, chemical reactivity, and finds applications in tissue engineering, artificial kidney, wound healing, burn treatment, biosensors, and electronics. The main goal of this study is to develop a fabrication process for producing Chitosan Morphed Graphene Composite (CMGC) using traditional sintering (compression molding) and study their properties. First, we produced CMGC using established methods that combine mechanical milling and sintering at temperatures ranging from 120°C to 180°C. Second, the integrity of the chitosan matrix was studied by material characterization including scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy, and Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy. Spectroscopy studies confirm that the processing conditions used in this study produced CMGC without degrading the chitosan molecule; although crystallinity is modified. Third, we studied different mechanical properties of CMGC, that are then compared with conventional polymers. The compression modulus is comparable to that of polyethylene, the compression strength is similar to Nylon-6, while toughness and bulk density is superior to commercial polymers. Fourth, the CMGC is biodegradable and compostable when exposed to water or is mixed in moist soil. Also, it is non-toxic and can easily be used as compost to sustain plants without visible inhibitions. Fifth, CMGC can be processed by means of laser lithography to manufacture final products for a long-range of applications which opens up an endless opportunity for fabricating biodegradable CMGC for different applications. Ideally, in future work, we plan to use the CMGC for applications such as computers, electronics, batteries, and defense weaponry such as tasers that will help to accomplish net zero emissions.



Chitosan, Biodegradability, Laser Lithography