It is well established that graphene oxide can be prepared by the oxidation of graphite using permanganate or chlorate in an acidic environment. Recently, however, the synthesis of graphene oxide using potassium ferrate(VI) ions has been reported. Herein, we critically replicate and evaluate this new ferrate(VI) oxidation method. In addition, we test the use of potassium ferrate(VI) for the synthesis of graphene oxide under various experimental routes. The synthesized materials are analyzed by a number of analytical methods in order to confirm or disprove the possibility of synthesizing graphene oxide by the ferrate(VI) oxidation route. Our results confirm the unsuitability of using ferrate(VI) for the oxidation of graphite on graphene oxide because of its high instability in an acidic environment and low oxidation power in neutral and alkaline environments.
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