A method to pattern the surface of graphene with chemical groups is reported in Nature Communications this week. Further development of the work could lead to electrical circuits on a single graphene sheet and chemical sensors with patterned recognition sites. James Tour and co-workers developed a two-step procedure to chemically modify the graphene surface: graphene is hydrogenated to graphane and then in a subsequent reaction Carbon-Hydrogen bonds are exchanged for Carbon-Carbon bonds. This transformation could lead to materials with new chemical and electrical properties. Carefully controlling the patterns of hydrogenation and modification of the grapheme surface could allow the development of new sensor and electronic devices.
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