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Observing High-Pressure Chemistry in Graphene Bubbles

Authors

  • Candy Haley Yi Xuan Lim,

    1. Graphene Research Centre, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, 3 Science Drive 3, Singapore 117543 (Singapore)
    2. NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering, Centre for Life Sciences #05-01, 28 Medical Drive, Singapore 117456 (Singapore)
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  • Milos Nesladek,

    1. IMOMEC, Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark, B 3590 Dipenbeek (Belgium)
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  • Prof. Kian Ping Loh

    Corresponding author
    1. Graphene Research Centre, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, 3 Science Drive 3, Singapore 117543 (Singapore)
    • Graphene Research Centre, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, 3 Science Drive 3, Singapore 117543 (Singapore)

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  • K.P.L. acknowledges MOE Tier II grant “From in situ observation to growth scaling of graphene quantum dots (R-143-000-493-112)”.

Abstract

Using IR spectroscopy, high-pressure reactions of molecules were observed in liquids entrapped by graphene nanobubbles formed at the graphene–diamond interface. Nanobubbles formed on graphene as a result of thermally induced bonding of its edges with diamond are highly impermeable, thus providing a good sealing of solvents within. Owing to the optical transparency of graphene and diamond, high-pressure chemical reactions within the bubbles can be probed with vibrational spectroscopy. By monitoring the conformational changes of pressure-sensitive molecules, the pressure within the nanobubble can be calibrated as a function of temperature and it is about 1 GPa at 600 K. The polymerization of buckministerfullerene (C60), which is symmetrically forbidden under ambient conditions, is observed to proceed in well-defined stages in the pressurized nanobubbles.

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