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Sci Rep. 2012;2:586. doi: 10.1038/srep00586. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Nitrogen-doped graphene: beyond single substitution and enhanced molecular sensing.

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Department of Physics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Graphene is a two-dimensional network in which sp(2)-hybridized carbon atoms are arranged in two different triangular sub-lattices (A and B). By incorporating nitrogen atoms into graphene, its physico-chemical properties could be significantly altered depending on the doping configuration within the sub-lattices. Here, we describe the synthesis of large-area, highly-crystalline monolayer N-doped graphene (NG) sheets via atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition, yielding a unique N-doping site composed of two quasi-adjacent substitutional nitrogen atoms within the same graphene sub-lattice (N(2)(AA)). Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM and STS) of NG revealed the presence of localized states in the conduction band induced by N(2)(AA)-doping, which was confirmed by ab initio calculations. Furthermore, we demonstrated for the first time that NG could be used to efficiently probe organic molecules via a highly improved graphene enhanced Raman scattering.

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