Engineering 101

Modifying the Structure and Properties of Graphene

Professor Federico Rosei of the Institut National de la Recherché Scientifique (INRS) collaborated with international researchers to modify graphene properties for use in electronics applications. The study results were recently published in the Nature Chemistry journal.

Graphene is commonly used in touch screens, aerospace, and biomedicine, but has limited electronics use because it lacks a band gap. The gap is a space in which there are no energy levels that can be occupied by electrons. The team used a novel chemical reaction known as photocycloaddition to modify the bonds between atoms with ultraviolet (UV) light.

The researchers succeeded in modifying graphene so that a band gap was created. This could have an impact over the next few years in optoelectronics, such as in the fabrication of photodetectors, the manufacture of high-performance photovoltaic cells to convert solar energy into electricity, or the extreme miniaturization of devices, according to Professor Rosei.

The breakthrough is complementary to the results published in Nature Materials, in May 2020, by an Italian-Canadian team of researchers under the supervision of Professor Rosei.

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