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Graphene in Light: Design, Synthesis and Applications of Photo-active Graphene and Graphene-Like Materials


  • Dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Center for Nanochemistry at Peking University.


Graphene functionalized with photo-active units has become one of the most exciting topics of research in the last few years, which remarkably sustains and expands the graphene boom. The rise of photo-active graphene in photonics and optoelectronics is evidenced by a spate of recent reports on topics ranging from photodetectors, photovoltaics, and optoelectronics to photocatalysis. For these applications, the fabrication of photo-active graphene through appropriate chemical functionalization strategies is essential as pristine graphene has zero bandgap and only weak absorption of photons. Written from the chemists' point of view, up-to-date chemical functionalization of graphene with various small organic molecules, conjugated polymers, rare-earth components, and inorganic semiconductors is reviewed. Particular attention is paid to the development of graphene functionalized with light-harvesting moieties, including materials synthesis, characterization, energy/charge-transfer processes, and applications in photovoltaics. Challenges currently faced by researchers and future perspectives in this field are also discussed.