8 May, 2017

Precise determination of graphene functionalization by in situ Raman spectroscopy

Philipp Vecera, Julio C. Chacón-Torres, Thomas Pichler, Stephanie Reich, Himadri R. Soni, Andreas Görling, Konstantin Edelthalhammer, Herwig Peterlik, Frank Hauke & Andreas Hirsch.

Nature Communications 2017, 8, 15192
doi:10.1038/ncomms15192

Full article: https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15192

precise-determination-of-graphene-functionalization

The verification of a successful covalent functionalization of graphene and related carbon allotropes can easily be carried out by Raman spectroscopy. Nevertheless, the unequivocal assignment and resolution of individual lattice modes associated with the covalent binding of addends was elusive up to now. Here we present an in situ Raman study of a controlled functionalization of potassium intercalated graphite, revealing several new bands appearing in the D-region of the spectrum. The evolution of these bands with increasing degree of functionalization from low to moderate levels provides a basis for the deconvolution of the different components towards quantifying the extent of functionalization. By complementary DFT calculations we were able to identify the vibrational changes in the close proximity of the addend bearing lattice carbon atoms and to assign them to specific Raman modes. The experimental in situ observation of the developing functionalization along with the reoxidation of the intercalated graphite represents an important step towards an improved understanding of the chemistry of graphene.