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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Mar 17;132(10):3270-1. doi: 10.1021/ja100329d.

Nanocrystal growth on graphene with various degrees of oxidation.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


We show a general two-step method for growing hydroxide and oxide nanocrystals of the iron family elements (Ni, Co, Fe) on graphene with two degrees of oxidation. Drastically different nanocrystal growth behaviors were observed on low-oxidation graphene sheets (GS) and highly oxidized graphite oxide (GO) in hydrothermal reactions. Small particles precoated on GS with few oxygen-containing surface groups diffused and recrystallized into single-crystalline Ni(OH)(2) hexagonal nanoplates or Fe(2)O(3) nanorods with well-defined morphologies. In contrast, particles precoated on GO were pinned by the high-concentration oxygen groups and defects on GO without recrystallization into well-defined shapes. Adjusting the reaction temperature can be included to further control materials grown on graphene. For materials with weak interactions with graphene, increasing the reaction temperature can lead to diffusion and recrystallization of surface species into larger crystals, even on highly oxidized and defective GO. Our results suggest an interesting new approach for controlling the morphology of nanomaterials grown on graphene by tuning the surface chemistry of graphene substrates used for crystal nucleation and growth.

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