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ACS Nano. 2009 Aug 25;3(8):2358-66. doi: 10.1021/nn900504v.

Implantation and growth of dendritic gold nanostructures on graphene derivatives: electrical property tailoring and Raman enhancement.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, 1011 Durland Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA.


Interfacing electron-rich metal nanoparticles with graphene derivatives can sensitively regulate the properties of the resultant hybrid with potential applications in metal-doped graphene field-effect transistors (FETs), surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and catalysis. Here, we show that by controlling the rate of diffusion and catalytic reduction of gold ions on graphene oxide (GO), dendritic "snowflake-shaped" gold nanostructures (SFGNs) can be templated on graphene. The structural features of the SFGNs and their interfacing mechanism with GO were characterized by microscopic analysis and Raman-scattering. We demonstrate that (a) SFGNs grow on GO-surface via diffusion limited aggregation; (b) SFGN's morphology (dendritic to globular), size (diameter of 150-500 nm and a height of 45-55 nm), coverage density, and dispersion stability can be controlled by regulating the chemiophysical forces; (c) SFGNs enhance the Raman signal by 2.5 folds; and (d) SFGNs act as antireduction resist during GO-SFGN's chemical reduction. Further, the SFGNs interfacing with graphene reduces the apparent band gap (from 320 to 173 meV) and the Schottky barrier height (from 126 to 56 meV) of the corresponding FET.

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