GO was chemically exfoliated from graphite powder (grade 2012, Asbury Carbons) by a modified Hummers method reported elsewhere (35, 36). GO powders were dispersed in acetone (99.5%; Daejung Chemicals and Metals Co. Ltd.) and washed with excess acetone to remove the residual acids and metal impurities, using a vacuum-assisted filtration kit (35, 36). The dried GO powder was redispersed in deionized water (DIW; Direct Q3, Millipore) at a concentration of 0.2 wt % and sonicated for 30 min. GO dispersion was centrifuged at 4000 rpm for 1 hour, and the precipitate was discarded. Then, after centrifugation at 8000 rpm for 1 hour, extremely small debris was also removed by dispensing the supernatant. The typical concentration of the final stock GO dispersion was approximately 1.0 wt %. The nematic liquid crystalline nature of GO dispersion was examined using a POM, as reported elsewhere (fig. S1) (14, 21).

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