An innovative and eco-friendly modality for synthesis of highly fluorinated graphene by an acidic ionic liquid: Making of an efficacious vehicle for anti-cancer drug delivery
© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Fluorination of graphene nanomaterials has multitude merits owing to the peculiar temperament of the carbon-fluorine (C-F) bond. However, the current synthesis modalities of fluorinated graphene (FG) are based on the usage of toxic materials at high temperatures, which are problematic to be used. The methods to overcome these problems are challenging for chemists. Ionic liquids (ILs) have been used in several chemical processes as auxiliaries and eco-friendly alternatives instead of volatile organic solvents because of their properties. Consequently, herein we exploited a highly effective and green process for the synthesis of FG at mild temperature (80 °C) by using ammonium fluoride salt as fluorine agent and a synthesized acidic IL ([TEA]+[TFA]–) as a solvent. Our goal was to synthesize enriched FG with a high degree of fluorination (66.4 wt.% of F) and F/C ratio (2.2), which measured and confirmed by XPS analysis. Subsequently, the obtained FG was used as a nanocarrier for delivery of curcumin to cancerous cells. The in-vitro results showed that these nanosheets possessed a higher Cur-loading efficiency (78.43%) than commercial FG (52.12%) due to the sheet-like structure with folded edges. This, in turn, translated into an excellent in-vitro anti-cancer effect when tested against cancerous cells.