Scalable Production of Nanographene and Doping via Non-destructive Covalent Functionalization
G. Guday, I. S. Donskyi, M. F. Gholami, G. Algara-Siller, F. Witte, A. Lippitz, W. E. S. Unger, B. Paulus, J. P. Rabe, M. Adeli, R. Haag – 2019
A new method for top-down, one-pot, gram-scale production of high quality nanographene by incubating graphite in a dilute sodium hypochlorite solution at only 40 °C is reported here. The produced sheets have only 4 at% oxygen content, comparable with nanographene grown by chemical vapor deposition. The nanographene sheets are covalently functionalized using a nondestructive nitrene [2+1] cycloaddition reaction that preserves their π-conjugated system. Statistical analyses of Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy indicate a low number of sp3 carbon atoms on the order of 2% before and 4% after covalent functionalization. The nanographene sheets are significantly more conductive than conventionally prepared nanographene oxide, and conductivity further increases after covalent functionalization. The observed doping effects and theoretical studies suggest sp2 hybridization for the carbon atoms involved in the [2+1] cycloaddition reaction leading to preservation of the π-conjugated system and enhancing conductivity via n-type doping through the bridging N-atom. These methods are easily scalable, which opens the door to a mild and efficient process to produce high quality nanographenes and covalently functionalize them while retaining or improving their physicochemical properties.