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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Mar 7;134(9):4393-7. doi: 10.1021/ja211637p. Epub 2012 Feb 27.

Hybrid graphene and graphitic carbon nitride nanocomposite: gap opening, electron-hole puddle, interfacial charge transfer, and enhanced visible light response.

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  • 1Centre for Computational Molecular Science, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Brisbane, Australia.


Opening up a band gap and finding a suitable substrate material are two big challenges for building graphene-based nanodevices. Using state-of-the-art hybrid density functional theory incorporating long-range dispersion corrections, we investigate the interface between optically active graphitic carbon nitride (g-C(3)N(4)) and electronically active graphene. We find an inhomogeneous planar substrate (g-C(3)N(4)) promotes electron-rich and hole-rich regions, i.e., forming a well-defined electron-hole puddle, on the supported graphene layer. The composite displays significant charge transfer from graphene to the g-C(3)N(4) substrate, which alters the electronic properties of both components. In particular, the strong electronic coupling at the graphene/g-C(3)N(4) interface opens a 70 meV gap in g-C(3)N(4)-supported graphene, a feature that can potentially allow overcoming the graphene's band gap hurdle in constructing field effect transistors. Additionally, the 2-D planar structure of g-C(3)N(4) is free of dangling bonds, providing an ideal substrate for graphene to sit on. Furthermore, when compared to a pure g-C(3)N(4) monolayer, the hybrid graphene/g-C(3)N(4) complex displays an enhanced optical absorption in the visible region, a promising feature for novel photovoltaic and photocatalytic applications.

© 2012 American Chemical Society

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