Sulfur-Doped Laser-Induced Porous Graphene Derived from Polysulfone-Class Polymers and Membranes

Swatantra P. Singh, Yilun Li, Jibo Zhang, James M. Tour, Christopher J. Arnusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Graphene based materials have profoundly impacted research in nanotechnology, and this has significantly advanced biomedical, electronics, energy, and environmental applications. Laser-induced graphene (LIG) is made photothermally and has enabled a rapid route for graphene layers on polyimide surfaces. However, polysulfone (PSU), poly(ether sulfone) (PES), and polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) are highly used in numerous applications including medical, energy, and water treatment and they are critical components of polymer membranes. Here we show LIG fabrication on PSU, PES, and PPSU resulting in conformal sulfur-doped porous graphene embedded in polymer dense films or porous substrates using reagent- and solvent-free methods in a single step. We demonstrate the applicability as flexible electrodes with enhanced electrocatalytic hydrogen peroxide generation, as antifouling surfaces and as antimicrobial hybrid membrane-LIG porous filters. The properties and surface morphology of the conductive PSU-, PES-, and PPSU-LIG could be modulated using variable laser duty cycles. The LIG electrodes showed enhanced hydrogen peroxide generation compared to LIG made on polyimide, and showed exceptional biofilm resistance and potent antimicrobial killing effects when treated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and mixed bacterial culture. The hybrid PES-LIG membrane-electrode ensured complete elimination of bacterial viability in the permeate (6 log reduction), in a flow-through filtration mode at a water flux of ∼500 L m-2 h-1 (2.5 V) and at ∼22 000 L m-2 h-1 (20 V). Due to the widespread use of PSU, PES, and PPSU in modern society, these functional PSU-, PES-, and PPSU-LIG surfaces have great potential to be incorporated into biomedical, electronic, energy and environmental devices and technologies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)289-297
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - 23 Jan 2018


  • antibacterial
  • electrodes
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • laser-induced graphene
  • membrane filter
  • polysulfone
  • sulfur-doped graphene

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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