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Nat Commun. 2011 Jun 28;2:372. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1376.

Imaging local electronic corrugations and doped regions in graphene.

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Department of Chemistry, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA.


Electronic structure heterogeneities are ubiquitous in two-dimensional graphene and profoundly impact the transport properties of this material. Here we show the mapping of discrete electronic domains within a single graphene sheet using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy in conjunction with ab initio density functional theory calculations. Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy imaging provides a wealth of detail regarding the extent to which the unoccupied levels of graphene are modified by corrugation, doping and adventitious impurities, as a result of synthesis and processing. Local electronic corrugations, visualized as distortions of the π*cloud, have been imaged alongside inhomogeneously doped regions characterized by distinctive spectral signatures of altered unoccupied density of states. The combination of density functional theory calculations, scanning transmission X-ray microscopy imaging, and in situ near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy experiments also provide resolution of a longstanding debate in the literature regarding the spectral assignments of pre-edge and interlayer states.

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