Controlled Chemical Modification of Graphene


Graphene is a promising 2D material for several applications due to its stunning properties: among them, the highest mechanical strength ever reported, its extremely high thermal conductivity (one order of magnitude higher than copper) and electron mobility far superior to any semiconductor. In order to enlarge the range of applications of grapheme in electronics, many research has focused in the last years on the controlled modification of its properties, for example by inducing a bandgap for its use in transistor devices or by grafting different kind of molecules for surface modification.

This figure shows an atomic resolution STM picture of graphene growth on Copper by chemical vapor deposition. The picture has been taken at normal ambient condition in an air-STM setup.

In particular, induced chemical defects over graphene can enable specific further functionalization, making its conductivity sensible to specific species in the environment. Following this approach, we are interested in studying the oxidation of graphene under controlled conditions by ozone treatment: initial studies based on Raman spectroscopy and X Ray photoelectron spectroscopy has shown that the covalent sp2 network of carbon atoms - the so called honeycomb structure of graphene -can be broken by this method only partially, without loosing the mobility properties of the 2D network. In particular, it has been observed that partially oxidized graphene can allow the further grafting of more complex molecular species at the defect sites. We are currently investigating by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy the chemical nature of the defects formed on a more local scale than usually allow by Raman mapping, in order to understand the contribution of each modification step on the quality of the final chemical modification.


Katharina Krischer & Werner Schindler,Department of Physics, Technische Universität München.

Simon Drieschner (WSI) & Jose A. Garrido, ICN2 - Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Barcelona, Spain.

Open Positions:

if you would like to join us as an internship or master student on this project, please contact Francesco Casablanca


TUM Technische Universität München TUM Technische Universität München Physik Department Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik TUM Technische Universität München

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