MIT develops a new graphene oxygen-treatment method, opens up new applications

Researchers from MIT and the University of California at Berkeley developed a new way to evenly functionalize graphene with oxygen at low (50-80 C) temperatures. The method is environmentally friendly (no harsh chemical treatment) and can be applied on a large scale.

The researchers use low-temperature annealing and this cause the oxygen atoms to form clusters. This leaves areas of pure-graphene between the oxygen clusters. This decreases the graphene's electrical resistance by four to five orders of magnitude (the oxygen clusters are insulating) which is good for applications such as sensing, electronics and catalysis.

Interestingly, the graphene areas are very small - and actually behave like quantum dots. This could be used to create a light emitting device, or alternatively a light absorption device (for solar cells and maybe photo detectors too).

Posted: Dec 17,2013 by Ron Mertens