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The Exfoliation of Graphene in Liquids by Electrochemical, Chemical, and Sonication-Assisted Techniques: A Nanoscale Study

Authors

  • Zhen Yuan Xia,

    1. Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la, Fotoreattività - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
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  • Sergio Pezzini,

    1. Dipartimento di Fisica and CNISM, Universitá degli Studi di Pavia, via Bassi 6, 27100 Pavia, Italy
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  • Emanuele Treossi,

    1. Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la, Fotoreattività - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
    2. Laboratorio MIST.E-R Bologna, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
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  • Giuliano Giambastiani,

    1. Istituto di Chimica dei Composti OrganoMetallici - Ricerche and Consorzio INSTM, via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
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  • Franco Corticelli,

    1. Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
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  • Vittorio Morandi,

    1. Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
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  • Alberto Zanelli,

    1. Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la, Fotoreattività - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
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  • Vittorio Bellani,

    1. Dipartimento di Fisica and CNISM, Universitá degli Studi di Pavia, via Bassi 6, 27100 Pavia, Italy
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  • Vincenzo Palermo

    Corresponding author
    1. Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la, Fotoreattività - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
    • Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la, Fotoreattività - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy.
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Abstract

The different exfoliation routes of graphite to produce graphene by sonication in solvent, chemical oxidation and electrochemical oxidation are compared. The exfoliation process and roughening of a flat graphite substrate is directly visualized at the nanoscale by scanning probe and electron microscopy. The etching damage in graphite and the properties of the exfoliated sheets are compared by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis. The results show the trade-off between exfoliation speed and preservation of graphene quality. A key step to achieve efficient exfoliation is to couple gas production and mechanical exfoliation on a macroscale with non-covalent exfoliation and preservation of graphene properties on a molecular scale.

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