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Graphene represents a new generation of materials which exhibit unique physicochemical properties such as high electron mobility, tunable optics, a large surface to volume ratio, and robust mechanical strength. These properties make graphene an ideal candidate for various optoelec-tronic, photonics, and sensing applications. In recent years, numerous efforts have been focused on azobenzene polymers (AZO-polymers) as photochromic molecular switches and thermal sensors because of their light-induced conformations and surface-relief structures. However, these polymers often exhibit drawbacks such as low photon storage lifetime and energy density. Additionally, AZO-polymers tend to aggregate even at moderate doping levels, which is detrimental to their optical response. These issues can be alleviated by incorporating graphene derivatives (GDs) into AZO-polymers to form orderly arranged molecules. GDs such as graphene oxide (GO), reduced graphene oxide (RGO), and graphene quantum dots (GQDs) can modulate the optical response, energy density, and photon storage capacity of these composites. Moreover, they have the potential to prevent aggregation and increase the mechanical strength of the azobenzene complexes. This review article summarizes and assesses literature on various strategies that may be used to incorporate GDs into azobenzene complexes. The review begins with a detailed analysis of structures and properties of GDs and azobenzene complexes. Then, important aspects of GD-azobenzene composites are discussed, including: (1) synthesis methods for GD-azobenzene composites, (2) structure and physicochemical properties of GD-azobenzene composites, (3) characterization techniques employed to analyze GD-azobenzene composites, and most importantly, (4) applications of these composites in various photonics and thermal devices. Finally, a conclusion and future scope are given to discuss remaining challenges facing GD-azobenzene composites in functional science engineering.


Azobenzene, Composite, Graphene oxide, Graphene quantum dot, Photonics, Photoresponsive, Thermal

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Biomedical Engineering