Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chemical Modification of Epitaxial Graphene: Spontaneous Grafting of Aryl Groups

Elena Bekyarova, Mikhail E. Itkis, Palanisamy Ramesh, Claire Berger, Michael Sprinkle, Walt A. de Heer, Robert C. Haddon (2009). Chemical Modification of Epitaxial Graphene: Spontaneous Grafting of Aryl Groups Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131 (4), 1336-1337 DOI: 10.1021/ja8057327

This paper detailed attempts to modify the surface of epitaxial graphene with a diazonium salt, shown below in the paper's graphical abstract:

This reaction has been used before to modify carbon nanotubes, and is a very logical next step to tuning the electronic properties of graphene (since the reaction essentially creates defects which lower the conductivity). The authors proved they actually functionalized their graphene by IR (which clearly showed the N02 group) and XPS (giving a different C1s region and a brand new peak in the N1s region). The resulting material was about half as conductive as the starting material and the conductivity showed a much greater dependence on temperature.

Moral of the story: if you want semiconducting graphene (which would be very helpful in making actual devices), one way to get it is to modify the surface of the graphene with plain old organic chemistry.


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MSTNano said...

The graphene is such promising material. It is a material of the future. The invention is great and the nanotechnology could change the world.

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