doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.187 Published online 31 December 2010
New research has shown that nitrogen and hydrogen plasma generated through microwave could convert multilayer graphene into a monolayer with a nanomesh like structure. Such monolayer graphene could have wide range of applications in nanoelectronics.
Monolayer graphene is a unique material for its remarkable electrical properties. Transforming multilayer graphene platelets into monolayer graphene remains a challenge.
To devise a suitable way to make monolayer graphene, the researchers multilayer graphene to nitrogen and hydrogen plasma generated by microwave.
The energetic nitrogen and hydrogen ions of the plasma reacted with the oxygen and hydroxyl functional group and expel them from the graphene surface. This triggered the etching process, which gave rise to monolayer graphene with a mesh-like structure.
"The technique opens up a window of opportunities for fabrication of carbon nanostructures in a controlled fashion," says lead researcher D. S. Misra. The monolayer graphene has potential to be used for single molecule detection, ultra high mobility transistor, and nanoribbons for catalyst, he adds.
The authors of this work are from: Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India; Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, USA, and Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, UK.