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J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Jul 13;133(27):10490-8. doi: 10.1021/ja201052q. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

Polymer brushes on graphene.

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Walter Schottky Institut and Physik Department, Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Am Coulombwall 4, 85748 Garching, Germany.


A critical bottleneck for the widespread use of single layer graphene is the absence of a facile method of chemical modification which does not diminish the outstanding properties of the two-dimensional sp(2) network. Here, we report on the direct chemical modification of graphene by photopolymerization with styrene. We demonstrate that photopolymerization occurs at existing defect sites and that there is no detectable disruption of the basal plane conjugation of graphene. This method thus offers a route to define graphene functionality without degrading its electronic properties. Furthermore, we show that photopolymerization with styrene results in self-organized intercalative growth and delamination of few layer graphene. Under these reaction conditions, we find that a range of other vinyl monomers exhibits no reactivity with graphene. However, we demonstrate an alternative route by which the surface reactivity can be precisely tuned, and these monomers can be locally grafted via electron-beam-induced carbon deposition on the graphene surface.

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