What exactly is graphitic acid? I know that it's obtained when you react graphite with concentrated $\ce{HNO3}$ and that its structural formula is $\ce{C11H4O5}$. But I can't find or deduce its structure. And also I am unable to find any of its properties, except that it's a yellow-green liquid insoluble in water.

  • $\begingroup$ $\ce{C4H11O5}$ is not a valid formula for any uncharged-non radical compound. Perhaps this is the empirical formula? $\endgroup$ – Ben Norris Aug 8 '16 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry it's C11H4O5 $\endgroup$ – user122143 Aug 8 '16 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphite_oxide $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Aug 8 '16 at 18:11

Graphitic acid is a compound derived from graphite.

You may find it named "Graphite oxide" as well: as you see, it is obtained by reacting graphite with an oxidizing agent ($\ce{HNO3}$, for instance).

The structure resembles that of graphite, but it carries several oxygen-containing substituents, such as hydroxyl and carbonyl functions, thus having a less regular geometry, compared to that of graphite.

The exact features of the structure depend a lot on the method used for its preparation, and the layers may show some "defects", not described by this ideally planar model, but the key concept is this.

Here is a simple proposed structure for a single layer (source: Wikipedia)

Note that, just like graphite is made of several layers of graphene, graphite oxide is made of several layers that, upon reaction with a base, become graphene oxide.

Here you can find further information, and a nice image of a single graphene oxide film


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