A review article summarizes the state-of-the-art knowledge about graphene grain boundaries

Jul 11, 2014
ICREA Research Professor Stephan Roche, Group Leader at ICN2

Graphene has attracted significant interest both for exploring fundamental science and for a wide range of technological applications. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is currently the only working approach to grow graphene at big scale, which is required for industrial applications. Unfortunately, the produced graphene is typically polycrystalline, consisting of a patchwork of grains with various orientations and sizes, joined by grain boundaries of irregular shapes.

Researchers from the ICN2 Theoretical and Computational Nanoscience Group curated a review article in Advanced Materials to determine whether graphene are a blessing or a curse. ICREA Research Professor Stephan Roche, Group Leader at ICN2, together with Dr Aron Cummings, Jose Eduardo Barrios Vargas and Van Tuan Dinh, from the same Group, share the authorship of the review with researchers from Sungkyunkwan University. The review article not only provides guidelines for the improvement of graphene devices, but also opens a new research area of engineering graphene grain boundaries for highly sensitive electro-biochemical devices.

The review analyses the challenges and opportunities of charge transport in polycrystalline graphene, which means summarizing the state-of-the-art knowledge about grain boundaries (GGBs). The review is divided in the following sections: Structure and Morphology of GGBs; Methods of Observing GGBs; Measurement of Electrical Transport across GGBs; Manipulation of GGBs with Functional Groups.

The work describes how TEM and STM, combined with theory and simulation, can provide information for the observation and characterization of GGBs at the atomic scale. These boundaries have interesting properties, such as the fact that they can be a good template for the synthesis of 1D materials, might be useful to design sensors for detecting gases and molecules or allow selective diffusion of limited gases and molecules. Controlling the atomic structure of GGBs by CVD is a big challenge from a scientific point of view, but would be a huge step forward in the realization of next-generation technologies based on this material.

Explore further: A nanosensor to identify vapors based on a graphene-silicon heterojunction Schottky diode

More information: Cummings AW, Duong DL, Nguyen VL, Van Tuan D, Kotakoski J, Barrios Vargas JE, Lee YH, Roche S. Charge Transport in Polycrystalline Graphene: Challenges and Opportunities. Advanced Materials. 2014; Jun 5. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201401389. [Epub ahead of print]

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

STM of individual grains in CVD-grown graphene

Jun 24, 2011

Users from Purdue University, working collaboratively with staff in the CNM Electronic & Magnetic Materials & Devices Group, studied CVD-grown graphene on polycrystalline copper foil for the first time at ...

New study gives insight into graphene grain boundaries

Jan 15, 2013

(Phys.org)—Using graphene – either as an alternative to, or most likely as a complementary material with – silicon, offers the promise of much faster future electronics, along with several other advantages ...

Recommended for you

Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells

6 hours ago

Using a bio-mimicking analog of one of nature's most efficient light-harvesting structures, blades of grass, an international research team led by Alejandro Briseno of the University of Massachusetts Amherst ...

How to make a "perfect" solar absorber

Sep 29, 2014

The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material's spectrum of absorption just right: It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that ...

User comments : 0