Nano Research

Article Title

Enzyme-directed pH-responsive exfoliation and dispersion of graphene and its decoration by gold nanoparticles for use as a hybrid catalyst


grapheme, exfoliation, lysozyme, pH-responsive, catalysis, protein


ABSTRACT A non-destructive, safe and practical strategy to produce high quality graphene in high yield is urgently required, since this would pave the way for a wide range of applications of graphene in the future. Here we present a pH-responsive water-dispersible method for the exfoliation and functionalization of graphene by using lysozyme. The pH-responsive dispersion of graphene may be useful for the reversible assembly of multicomponent/multifunctional nanohybrid materials and nanoscale electronic devices. More importantly, composites can be easily constructed through the interactions between disulphide groups in lysozyme and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). The resulting graphene–AuNPs composites show excellent catalytic activity towards reduction of o-nitroaniline by NaBH4. Since lysozyme is low cost and has antibacterial properties, and has been widely used in food preservation, medicine and the pharmaceutical industry, our approach may open a new scalable route for the manufacture of high-quality, nondestructive graphene for practical applications.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press