10-May-2017 - Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Chemically tailored Graphene

Spectral fingerprint allows control of function

Two-dimensional graphene consists of single layers of carbon atoms and exhibits intriguing properties. The transparent material conducts electricity and heat extremely well. It is at the same time flexible and solid. Additionally, the electrical conductivity can be continuously varied between a metal and a semiconductor by, e.g., inserting chemically bound atoms and molecules into the graphene structure - the so-called functional groups. These unique properties offer a wide range of future applications as e.g. for new developments in optoelectronics or ultrafast components in the semiconductor industry. However, a successful use of graphene in the semiconductor industry can only be achieved if properties such as the conductivity, the size and the defects of the graphene structure induced by the functional groups can already be modulated during the synthesis of graphene.

In an international collaboration scientists led by Andreas Hirsch from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in close cooperation with Thomas Pichler from the University of Vienna accomplished a crucial breakthrough: using the latter's newly developed experimental set-up they were able to identify, for the first time, vibrational spectra as the specific fingerprints of step-by-step chemically modified graphene by means of light scattering. This spectral signature, which was also theoretically attested, allows to determine the type and the number of functional groups in a fast and precise way. Among the reactions they examined, was the chemical binding of hydrogen to graphene. This was implemented by a controlled chemical reaction between water and particular compounds in which ions are inserted in graphite, a crystalline form of carbon.

Additional benefits

"This method of the in-situ Raman spectroscopy is a highly effective technique which allows controlling the function of graphene in a fast, contact-free and extensive way already during the production of the material," says J. Chacon from Yachay Tech, one of the two lead authors of the study. This enables the production of tailored graphene-based materials with controlled electronic transport properties and their utilisation in semiconductor industry.

Facts, background information, dossiers

  • material science
  • semiconductor industry

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  • Authors

    Dr. Helene M. Loos

    Helene Loos studied food technology at the University of Hohenheim and completed her doctorate in food chemistry at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in 2015. During her doctoral studies, she investigated the aroma composition of breast milk and the behavioral resp ... more

    Diana Owsienko

    Diana Owsienko, born in 1994, studied food chemistry at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in Erlangen from 2013 to 2017 and worked on her final scientific thesis at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV) in Freising from 2017 to 2018. In 2 ... more

    Nadine I. Goldenstein

    Nadine Goldenstein studied Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen, Germany. Subsequently she worked as a scientist in Organic Biogeochemistry at MARUM, Bremen, where she concentrated her research activities on the investigation of microbial metabolic processes, with a foc ... more

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