Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New approach to finding and removing defects in graphene

Date:
June 7, 2010
Source:
Brown University
Summary:
Scientists have pinpointed the noncarbon atoms that create defects when graphene is produced through a technique called graphene-oxide reduction. The researchers have also proposed how to make that technique more efficient by precisely applying hydrogen -- rather than heat -- to remove the impurities.

Atoms of oxygen create distortions in a graphene sheet. The key to removing them is to apply hydrogen in exactly the right places.
Credit: Shenoy Lab/Brown University

In a paper in Nature Chemistry, Vivek Shenoy and colleagues pinpointed noncarbon atoms that create defects when graphene is produced through a technique called graphene-oxide reduction. The researchers also propose how to make that technique more efficient by precisely applying hydrogen -- rather than heat -- to remove the impurities.

Graphene, a carbon sheet that is one-atom thick, may be at the center of the next revolution in material science. These ultrathin sheets hold great potential for a variety of applications from replacing silicon in solar cells to cooling computer chips.

Despite its vast promise, graphene and its derivatives "are materials people understand little about," said Vivek Shenoy, professor of engineering at Brown University. "The more we can understand their properties, the more (technological) possibilities that will be opened to us."

Shenoy and a team of U.S. researchers have gained new insights into these mysterious materials. The team, in a paper in Nature Chemistry, pinpoints the atomic configurations of noncarbon atoms that create defects when graphene is produced through a technique called graphene-oxide reduction. Building from that discovery, the researchers propose how to make that technique more efficient by outlining precisely how to apply hydrogen -- rather than heat -- to remove impurities in the sheets.

The sheets produced by graphene-oxide reduction are two-dimensional, honeycomb-looking planes of carbon. Most of the atoms in the lattice are carbon, which is what scientists want. But interwoven in the structure are also oxygen and hydrogen atoms, which disrupt the uniformity of the sheet. Apply enough heat to the lattice, and some of those oxygen atoms bond with hydrogen atoms, which can be removed as water. But some oxygen atoms are more stubborn.

Shenoy, joined by Brown graduate student Akbar Bagri and colleagues from Rutgers University and the University of Texas-Dallas, used molecular dynamic simulations to observe the atomic configuration of the graphene lattice and figure out why the remaining oxygen atoms remained in the structure. They found that the holdout oxygen atoms had formed double bonds with carbon atoms, a very stable arrangement that produces irregular holes in the lattice.

The oxygen atoms that form double bonds with carbon "have very low energy," Shenoy said. "They're unreactive. It's hard to get them out."

Now that they understand the configuration of the resistant oxygen atoms in the graphene, the researchers say adding hydrogen atoms in prescribed amounts and at defined locations is the best way to further reduce the graphene oxide. One promising technique, they write in the paper, is to introduce hydrogen where the oxygen atoms have bonded with the carbon atoms and formed the larger holes. The oxygen and hydrogen should pair up (as hydroxyls) and leave the lattice, in essence "healing the hole," Shenoy said.

Another approach is to remove the oxygen impurities by focusing on the areas where carbonyls -- carbon atoms that are double-bonded to oxygen atoms -- have formed. By adding hydrogen, the researchers theorize, the oxygen atoms can be peeled away in the form of water.

The researchers next plan to experiment with the hydrogen treatment techniques as well as to investigate the properties of graphene oxide "in its own right," Shenoy said.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Semiconductor Research Corporation's Nanotechnology Research Initiative. Other authors on the paper include Cecilia Mattevi and Manish Chhowalla from Rutgers (both now at Imperial College in London), Muge Acik and Yves Chabal from the University of Texas-Dallas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Akbar Bagri, Cecilia Mattevi, Muge Acik, Yves J. Chabal, Manish Chhowalla & Vivek B. Shenoy. Structural evolution during the reduction of chemically derived graphene oxide. Nature Chemistry, 06 June 2010 DOI: 10.1038/nchem.686

Cite This Page:

Brown University. "New approach to finding and removing defects in graphene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100606162131.htm>.
Brown University. (2010, June 7). New approach to finding and removing defects in graphene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100606162131.htm
Brown University. "New approach to finding and removing defects in graphene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100606162131.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

What Is Magic Leap, And Why Is It Worth $500M?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Magic Leap isn't publicizing much more than a description of its product, but it’s been enough for Google and others to invest more than $500M. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins